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Covid-19, a virus that would undermine women’s rights

This pandemic, which already claims more than a million infected people around the world and almost 300,000 deaths, may also have a negative impact on the lives of millions of women, especially with regard to sexual and reproductive health rights.


This is warned by a new report by the United Nations Population Fund (Unfpa), which indicates that the inability to obtain contraceptives can lead to seven million unwanted pregnancies.

If containment measures are extended for about six months, 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries will not have access to modern contraceptives, the report says.

An investigation conducted the UN agency, carried out with Avenir Health, the Johns Hopkins University in the United States and Victoria University in Australia, exposes several of the problems that women face due to social isolation measures. According to their projections, gender-based violence increases by 20 percent during lockdown periods, so there would be an additional 31 million cases of abuse for a six-month confinement.

Unfpa executive director Natalia Kanem said such calculations will depend on how the pandemic evolves.

But either way, those data show the catastrophic impact the Covid-19 pandemic can have on women and girls around the world, she said.

Programs to eradicate female genital mutilation and child marriage will also suffer significant delays, the Unfpa study warns.

Because of those disruptions, she adds, two million more cases of female genital mutilation and 13 million more child marriages could be recorded in the next decade. (PL)

(Translated by Monica del Pilar Uribe Marin) Photos: Pixabay

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