Assessing the reasons for increased risk of domestic violence.
The Covid-19 globally deepened the gender divide, as violence against women rose in epic proportions.
The United Kingdom documented a 7% rise in intimate partner violence based on indicators.
Not a single country was immune from the shadow pandemic, as evident from studies from the UN.
Further, as schools switched to online mode, girls’ education was hampered as they were married off.
A younger age, making them further vulnerable to abuse.
In Bangladesh, child marriages escalated by at least 30% as 40 million students were affected.
From primary to higher education leading to a rise in dropout rates.
The number of dropouts in secondary school is estimated to be around 45%.
Already, Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriages globally, the highest in South Asia.
Where more than 50% of marriages are below the legal age of 18.
This situation further enhanced the vulnerability of women and girls, making them susceptible to further.
Further, Bangladesh’s biggest exporter, the RMG sector — which employs 80% of the female labour force.
Witnessed a severe blow as demand for exports dropped in destination countries:
As exports slashed, many factories were forced to shut down, and some thinned down their operations.
Resulting in a large loss; consequently, many women were the first ones to be laid-off.
Slipping them into economic vulnerability.
The government and development partners have mostly focused their development activities.
On reintegrating men into the workforce, and very few programs were targeted at women.
As the market began to slowly recover in the export-destination countries, women found it difficult.
To re-enter the labour force, as factories were reluctant to hire them.
Already women’s participation in the RMG workforce was shrinking due to automation.
As they are often the less skilled and lack access to training opportunities, according to a Mapped.
The pandemic further aggravated the situation, as confirmed by the BIGD National Survey.
The survey confirms that the unemployment rates for women are three times higher than those of men.
Further, even when women gained re-entry into the job market, their working hours were reduced 15%.
on average, compared to 1.5%; and women’s loss of income amounted to 21% two times higher.
Therefore, the IMF has termed the current crisis a “she-cession” since the crisis had a severe impact.
Women who encountered harsh economic penalties.
For instance, the tourism sector — where a large portion of female entrepreneurs ran their businesses.
Took a deep dive, in areas like handicraft, factory jobs, tailoring, and light engineering.
As women lost their jobs or shut down their businesses, they became dependent on their husbands.
Women were the first ones to be laid off from other sectors, such as media houses.
And the development field, as operations shrank due to funding cuts.
This was the case since men were considered the primary breadwinners.
Hence, employers felt that firing women was not a wrong decision, because their traditional domains.
Awareness of gender-sensitive matters is relatively minimal in most workplaces leading to such outcomes.