Locked in(Indian Express)
Mains Paper 1:Society
Prelims level: National Commission for Women
Mains level: Role of women and women’s organisation, population and associated issues
- A study by researchers at the University of California brings confirmation that the coronavirus lockdowns are making Indian women more vulnerable to violence at home.
- This is the fear that activists and academics have voiced from the start.
- Complaints were mapped of domestic violence received by the National Commission for Women (NCW) in April-May against designated red, green and orange zones.
- The study found that complaints of domestic violence rose 131% in red zones, where there were stricter curbs on mobility, relative to green zones.
- The study also found that cases of harassment, sexual assault, and rape decreased during the period, perhaps correlating to less exposure to “public spaces, public transport, and workplaces”.
- It also highlighted a spike in Google searches for “domestic violence helplines”.
- Early into the pandemic, the United Nations had warned of a “shadow pandemic” of intimate partner violence as women across the world are locked in with their abusers, unable to seek help.
- In India, too, activists have flagged a dip in calls to helplines as a sign of women’s inability to reach out for assistance.
- The research warns against reading the dip in reported sexual violence as a sign that women are safer at home.
Safety of women:
- It underlines that the patriarchal violence faced by Indian women, in their homes and outside, is deep-rooted and capable of taking on different forms.
- The pandemic is not just a public health challenge.
- It also threatens to disrupt the systems and institutions that provide a fragile immunity against toxic social inequalities.
- For Indian women, the snapping of access to mobility, income, and circles of solidarity outside the family can have terrifying consequences.
- The research ought to serve as an urgent SOS for governments and policymakers.
- Unfortunately, the Union minister for Women and Child Development has debunked the fears of a spike in domestic violence during the lockdown as “scaremongering”.
- Instead of denial, local governments, police and ground-level health workers must prioritise the safety of women, innovate on ways to communicate with them, and set up shelters where they can be removed out of harm’s way.
- Women’s needs, like those of all vulnerable groups, must be placed at the heart of the emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis.
- They cannot wait till the end of the pandemic for help to reach them.
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General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Material
Q.1) With reference to the Kurma app, consider the following statements:
1. On May 23, 2020, World Turtle Day, a mobile-based application called KURMA was launched for turtle conservation.
2. It was developed by World Wide Fund for Nature.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.1) Highlighting the COVID 19 induced lockdown effect on domestic violence. What are the challenges faced by women? Critically analyse.