Gender Roles in COVID Times

The Kootneeti organized a webinar on “Gender Roles in COVID Times” with distinguished speakers – Catalina Ruiz Navarro & Amrita Dhillon. The highlight of this webinar was how this pandemic has changed gender roles for different communities especially women. Are the gender roles still defined in the same manner or have they changed due to this pandemic? Gender roles are the expected ways of behaviour by different genders in society. Women are expected to provide care work which is unpaid and unrecognized and thereby not given due economic representation. They are the sole providers of Care Economy. And this gap has somewhere widened during this pandemic as women are overburdened with the care work that they were already engaged in.

One has also witnessed that around 70 percent of women are working as front liners in this pandemic as health and social service staffs globally. And they are bearing the responsibility for holding societies together be it at home, health sector, care for the elderly. Women are more vulnerable to this pandemic as they are facing lack of better working conditions, low pays, are not recognized and have been facing violence and abuse as they are locked up with their perpetrators. They are getting suffocated by the forced pregnancies and forced motherhoods during these unprecedented times as there are no ways of emergency escape or contraceptions.

Women living in rural areas are suffering from violence and abuse and they lack services to report it especially during this pandemic. Working from home is not posing to a safer environment for women as the upsurge in domestic violence cases is depicting the realities of their partners becoming aggressive may be due to uncertainties about the future.

The pandemic is not just making women vulnerable but LGBTQ+ and sex worker communities are also facing devastating issues. They are not able to express themselves in their locked-up homes Infront of their families because of their gender identities. They are not able to behave in a manner they want. Moreover, the policies which are framed for addressing the issues of various people in this pandemic somewhere misses them out and their voices are unheard.

Moreover, due to the exhaustion of state resources during the pandemic, governments in the developing countries or global south are proven inefficient to fight these issues which have been always remained crucial in society.

In the coming future, it’s the paramount necessity for the global institutions to keep vulnerable groups at the centre of policy framework along with the building of accessible and inclusive ground infrastructure to address the issues so that the disparities are woven.

The session was moderated by Pakhi Gauba – Research Intern at The Kootneeti

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Jyoti Singh

Jyoti Singh is a Former Journalism Intern at The Kootneeti

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