COVID pandemic – Impact on Women

  • More Women Unemployed:Women were more affected than men by employment issues. Women made up just 24% of those working before the pandemic, yet accounted for 28% of all those who lost their jobs.
  • Issues of Food Insecurity:Loss in incomes for women as well as their households led to reduction in food supply and women were affected more than other members of the family.
  • Issues of Reproductive Health:Women’s health indicators also deteriorated because they could no longer afford contraception and menstrual products.
    • About 16% of women (an estimated 17 million if extrapolated) had to stop using menstrual pads, and more than one in three married women were unable to access contraceptives.
  • Unpaid Labour:Indian women already do almost three times more unpaid work than Indian men, and the survey showed a 47% increase in unpaid labour for women, and a 41% increase in unpaid care work for women.
  • Marginalised Groups:Women from historically marginalised groups (Muslims, migrants, single/separated/divorced), were more affected than the average woman.
    • The variance is across the board, with more single, separated/divorced women having limited food or running out of food and many more Muslim women losing their income and livelihood.
    • Conditions on the ground are likely to worsen for those women (such as dalit womenand transgender individuals) who bear the brunt of social discrmination.