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Women’s Health, Abortion and other Contexts in this Pandemic

Women’s Health, Abortion and other Contexts in this Pandemic
India: A country of marginalised young women and girls, it's vital that their health may be a priority for the remainder of this pandemic

Women’s Health, Abortion and other Contexts in this Pandemic

In celebration of 28th May, the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, we are explaining why sexual and reproductive health must tend special attention during this pandemic. We want to emphasise that the health of young women, adolescents and girls must be prioritised in their contexts, in India during the pandemic and afterwards.

 

India: A country of marginalised young women and girls, it's vital that their health may be a priority for the remainder of this pandemic

India is in lockdown until the 31st of May 2020 and therefore the need for the central and state governments to deal with the requirements of the adolescent girls and young women persists. India has the very best population of children within the world, with about 356 million within the age bracket of 10 to 24-years-old. There are differences, diversities and large socio-economic disparities within the people of this age bracket which are exacerbating challenges introduced by the national lockdown measures.

 

Early, child or forced marriage may be a common phenomenon in emergency situations as marriage is usually seen as how for families to manage the economic impact of the crisis. Like with any crisis, the info on the pandemic’s impact on early marriage won't be available for months after the crisis is over. In spite of the shortage of knowledge, the govt must take the short and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the lives of young women and girls seriously, and to form it attention in its pandemic strategy.

 

Women’s SRH needs are very far down the list of priorities for the govt, which is concerning. Social stigma discourages women from seeking support and look after their sexual and reproductive health. This puts young women and girls in a good worse position, as they need less power to form decisions for themselves and their needs, within their family and social structures. In many discussions with them, I even have heard complaints of irregular menstruation, intermittent access to SRH products like sanitary towels, increased surveillance by their relations reception with them and therefore the deterioration of their psychological state.

The danger that these issues escalate and have long-lasting consequences for these young women is increasingly likely. To mitigate the consequences of this pandemic on the longer term health of young women and girls, access to psychological state services also as SRH products and services must be a core component of the government’s COVID-19 strategy.

 

It is perhaps most vital to worry that COVID-19 isn't responsible for the SRH challenges young women and girls face in India – the virus has aggravated pre-existing societal problems and structural issues in India’s healthcare system. Both require long-term structural solutions. Focusing specifically on the latter, the role of local women leaders must tend more emphasis within the administration of SRH services.

 

Arshi, a 21 year old relief worker with Action India, a women’s rights organisation in Delhi, has been involved during a number of community health projects for ladies and is an advocate for young women’s sexual and reproductive rights. during a recent conversation with me, she stated, “I are supporting women in my community consistent with their needs. There was one woman who delivered a boy last year, [a contraceptive coil] was inserted by a doctor without taking consent or maybe informing. She was in desperate got to visit a doctor, but many facilities haven't been functional so I supported her in speaking with the frontline doctor who followed the case. In another case, I witnessed my neighbour facing violence at the hands of her husband. When the violence happened, nobody stopped. My mother and that i intervened and managed things .” Integrating local women leaders into the supply of SRH services and amplifying their voices may be a potential long-term solution to access barriers.

 

The Government must invest and make steps towards using community-led health solutions within the near future. Community solutions may alright have a task to play in ensuring access to SRH services in India during this pandemic, but this feature can't be explored if the govt isn’t even acknowledging there are important unmet needs within the first place.

 

Right now, the govt must make the health needs of young women and girls a priority on their COVID-19 agenda, as a matter of urgency. Their sexual and reproductive health still matters within the midst of a worldwide crisis.



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