LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Provide support to girls, women during Covid-19 pandemic

The government should take into account provision for childcare and in-person community engagement activities.

In Summary

• An increase in domestic and intimate partner violence has been reported as people tend to take out their anger and frustrations on those close to them because of increased stress and depression.

• This may be due to job loss and financial difficulties.

An image portraying gender violence
An image portraying gender violence
Image: COURTESY

Covid-19 pandemic has had a further impact, especially for women and girls.

An increase in domestic and intimate partner violence has been reported as people tend to take out their anger and frustrations on those close to them because of increased stress and depression. This may be due to job loss and financial difficulties.

With the partial lockdown and in the prevailing circumstances, thinking about leaving the abusive relationship may feel and be impossible. Victims will have to endure the pain.

With the already strained health system, contraceptives can also be hard to access, especially where there is limiting in-person visits. This includes access to safe abortion, especially if the services are not readily available. This means girls and women are left with no option than seek backstreet procedures in the pharmacies.

The government should take into account provision for childcare and in-person community engagement activities. We should consult children and adolescents in order to understand their concerns, fears and needs at this time of the pandemic.

We should advocate family friendly workplace so that parents can take better care of their children. We should also provide psycho-social support with people living with disabilities, HIV-Aids and the marginalised who already feel anxious, stigmatised and vulnerable.

Naya, Kenya