Women Face Devastating Problems During the Pandemic
- Filed under "public policy"
- Published Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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In our current pandemic, it is sometimes hard to see beyond its effects on each of our current situations. As Chrysalis has shared before, women experience more devastating problems, and Black, Latina, and other women of color are experiencing challenges beyond job loss, expanded caretaking responsibilities, and educating their children.
For example, due to COVID-19:
- According to the Guttmacher Institute, even small disruptions in sexual and reproductive health services due to COVID-19 will lead to an additional 49 million women with unmet needs for modern contraceptives, 15 million unintended pregnancies, 28,000 maternal deaths, and 3.3 million unsafe abortions across 132 low- and middle-income countries over twelve months. (Note: the Polk County Health Department recently reported that infant deaths have been on the rise in Polk County. From April to June 2020, the Polk County Medical Examiner autopsied seven babies. Five out of the seven deaths occurred in unsafe sleep environments. This is a stark contrast from January to March 2020, where there was only one infant death related to natural disease. In total, there have been 8 infant deaths due to unsafe sleep environments in 2020.)
- The United Nations projects that domestic violence will increase by 20% (another 15 million additional cases) globally for every three months of continued movement restrictions and stay-at-home orders.
- During 2020, nearly 510 million women (40% of female employment) work in sectors at high risk of job loss, reduction in hours, and layoffs, reports the International Labor Organization. In fact, the United States is among 60 countries worldwide where 70-80% of women work in health and social work.
- With uncertainty in the United States, the pandemic also risks reversal of decades of progress in girls’ education – globally, nearly 745 million girls are out of school, and school closures exacerbate the situation for the poorest girls and adolescents, who may be at risk of early marriage or unintended pregnancy (United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization).
Women Deliver is a global data and research organization, provides information and policy recommendations to drive investments in girls and women. It applies a “gender lens” to its work on behalf of girls and women. Women Deliver believes a “gender-equal world” would create a world where everyone is:
Wealthier: When women are able to participate fully in economies, it can add as much as $28 trillion (26%) to global domestic production by 2025.
More Equitable: Countries with a greater proportion of women among decision-makers in legislatures are associated with lower levels of income inequality.
More Productive: Companies with strong women leaders boast a 35% higher annual return than companies without.
More Peaceful: Peace agreements are 35% more likely to last at least 15 years if women leaders are engaged in their creation and implementation.
According to Women Deliver research, progress must accelerate by nearly two times to ensure women are equally represented in key political positions by 2030. More than 650 million girls and women in 64 countries have never had an elected or appointed female head of state or government.
We still have work to do, and it’s our mission to build awareness about issues affecting girls and women. This is just one of the reasons Louise Noun, Elaine Szymoniak, and Barbara Barrett launched the Chrysalis Foundation in 1989, and why our work remains tremendously important.