News By/Courtesy: Nandakishore A | 18 Sep 2020 11:18am IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The woman population will disproportionately be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by pushing an estimated 47 million more women and girls into extreme poverty.
  • This in fact reverses the decades worth of progress which was made to uplift the woman demographic above the poverty line.
  • This disproportionate hit to women around the globe is a direct result of how we have constructed our societies and economy.

According to a new statistic released by the UN, the woman population will disproportionately be affected by the COVID pandemic by pushing an estimated 47 million more women and girls into extreme poverty. This in fact reverses the decades worth of progress which was made to uplift the woman demographic above the poverty line. This new data which was put forward by the UN Women and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) points towards an imminent crisis that will considerably increase the poverty rate among women and further widen the gap between their respective male counterparts. Between the years of 2019 and 2021, the poverty rate among women was expected to lower by 2.7 percent, but recent data points towards an increase of 9.1 percent due to the ongoing pandemic and its dire consequence. The projections have indicated that the pandemic will push 96 million people into extreme poverty by 2021, half of which are women and girls. This further increases the total number of women and girls who are living in extreme poverty to a stratospheric 435 million. Experts believe that the poverty rate will not go back to pre-pandemic levels until 2030, a decade from now.

 

The projection leads us to make the conclusion that even though COVID-19 has impacted global poverty generally, the women population will be disproportionately affected, especially women who are in their reproductive age. Statistics show that if we take 100 men, out of which 25 to 34 live in extreme poverty, there will be 118 women under poverty for every 100 men. This number is said to increase to 121 women per 100 men by 2030. This disproportionate hit to women around the globe is a direct result of how we have constructed our societies and economy and further indicates how unfair it always has been for them in numerous aspects. The brunt of the consequences of the pandemic is being carried on the backs of women as they are the category who are more likely to lose their source of income as a direct result of not being covered by proper social protection measures, a sad by-product of millennium-long patriarchy. The only solution to this long-lasting problem is to invest in reducing gender inequality, which is not only smart but affordable. Governments across the globe have to take initiative towards achieving this goal and should make this their primary concern, as that is the only way to reverse the impact of the pandemic on poverty.

 

This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion, etcetera. This article is based purely on the author’s personal opinion and views in the exercise of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(A) and other related laws being enforced in India for the time being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 19 Sep 2020 11:44am IST


Tags : Women, Girls, Inequality, COVID-19, Pandemic, Poverty, Unemployment, Extreme Poverty, UN

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