Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Home Reports Gendered social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Gendered social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Also Read


In the midst of a colossal pandemic, issues of gender inequality have taken a backseat. However, it is imperative to inspect the imprint of such a large-scale global phenomenon on gender roles in society. Data has shown that while both men and women are equally susceptible to contracting COVID-19, the mortality rate of men is higher than that of women. There is ongoing research on whether the extra X chromosome gives women additional immunity. However, the more generally accepted theory is that men have compromised immunity since they tend to smoke and drink more due to traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity that promote such activities among men and demote them amongst women.

The rest of the writing would focus on more indirect outcomes of the pandemic. Notably, the majority of the global healthcare workers, as well as informal caregivers, are female. Contrastingly, the majority of the political policy-makers are male. This itself creates an imbalance in the functioning of society. To begin with, let’s peek into the primary household entity – family. With the lockdown in place, everybody gets to experience more family time. While this serves as a wholesome change, the negative aspect is that traditional gender roles get magnified in times of crisis.

Traditionally, women perform most of the domestic tasks – cooking, rearing children, keeping the house clean, etc, and this workload has increased manifold. Working women, who extensively rely on domestic help cannot do so anymore and now have to juggle their profession through work-from-home with their household tasks. Children, especially younger ones and ones who would otherwise be at school, pose extra responsibilities – it becomes the job of the mother to educate them at home, acquaint them with precautionary measures and ensure that they follow the required sanitary practices. The situation is graver for women who are frontline health workers such as doctors and nurses, women who are part of the law enforcement, women who belong to the lower socio-economic classes, etc who are obligated to be both socially responsible and a nurturing figure. In addition to the physical burden, they are also faced with the psychological strain of ensuring the safety of themselves and their families. 

Moving on to more niche aspects, pregnant women are also subject to dire predicaments. The normally recommended regular checkups with the obstetrician are no more possible. With the severe restrictions on travel services, women having to go to the hospital either due to complications in the pregnancy, or even to give birth – becomes a Herculean task. Immunization of kids through vaccination has also been paused, causing additional distress to maternal figures. Moreover, this issue becomes worse with the possibility of increased pregnancy rates due to the lack of recreational activities and limited access to contraceptives.

Other unfavourable consequences of the situation include the possible rise in the rates of domestic and sexual violence, the mental stress caused by isolation with the abuser with no escape outlet and aggressive withdrawal behaviour from alcoholic men who now have no access to alcohol.  

Overall, there is a need for policy-makers to compensate women for their efforts and secure more gender-friendly policies and restrictions. The larger necessity, however, is to completely do away with the gender-based division of societal roles and responsibilities in the long-term, so that in the event of another such crisis, men and women are able to share the burden equally.

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

Latest News

Education and liberalism

Is it actually education that “makes” man liberal? Or is it the society and religion that “makes” him conservative?

Urdu script, colonial thoughts

The problem with the Urdu script is that it is not just a living reminder of the evils of invaders and slavers and worse, but it also interferes with the proper implementation of a Justice Delivery System in India, because it aims to place the delivery of Justice solely in the hands of those who can read Urdu script.

राम मंदिर निर्माण से राम राज्य की ओर

सच्चे लोकनायक के रूप में प्रभु श्री राम ने जन जन की आवाज को सुना और राजतंत्र में भी जन गण के मन की आवाज को सर्वोच्चता प्रदान की। राजनीति में शत्रु के विनाश के लिए कमजोर, गरीब और सर्वहारा वर्ग को साथ जोड़ कर सोशल इंजीनियरिंग के बल पर उस युग के सबसे बड़ी ताकत को छिन्न- भिन्न कर दिया। ज्ञात इतिहास में अनेकों पराक्रमी, परम प्रतापी, चतुर्दिक विजयी और न्यायप्रिय राजा हुए लेकिन सही शासन का पर्याय रामराज्य को ही माना गया।

Here is why Hindus must be happy with Muslim devotees expressing their will to attend the Bhūmi Pūjan at Ayodhya

Hindus must evolve from sensationalist proclivities to reason and objectivity, for only the tempered and equanimous shall lead the Hindus in this desired resurgence.

रोज़गार के अवसरों का सृजन करने वाली नीति: राष्ट्रीय शिक्षा नीति 2020

राष्ट्रीय शिक्षा नीति 2020 भारत को विश्वगुरु बनाने में मील का पत्थर साबित होगी पूरे देश मे ही नहीं अब पूरे विश्व भर इसकी तारीफ हो रही है, ये नीति भारत और भारतीयता को अपनी पहचान वापस दिलाएगी एवं यह राष्ट्र के पुनर्निर्माण में एक अहम कदम निभाएगी।

Are you environmentally friendly?

An average citizen, even a fairly informed citizen do not have all this information to make an environmentally conscious choice in his lifestyle, however enlightened he may be on the perils of climate change.

Recently Popular

Digital group chanting of Hanuman Chalisa by the Hindu IT Cell

Hindu IT Cell, a prime volunteer driven organisation for the cyber clean up of Hinduphobes and anti-nationals, has come up with a unique way of celebration with group recitals of Hanuman Chalisa with Ram Bhakts across India.

Sweeter than Jihadi, higher than installments, deeper than deep-state, all-weather loans- CPEC, a corridor to nowhere

India’s bet on Chabahar port project to reduce the importance of Gwadar has worked, although in some other way.

Striking similarities between the death of Parveen Babi and Sushant Singh Rajput: A mere co-incidence or well planned murders?

Together Rhea and Bhatt’s media statements subtly and cleverly project Sushant as some kind of a nut job like Parveen Babi, another Bhatt conjuring.

The indefinite growth of nepotism in India

Nepotism has fixed its root deep and its proliferating growth is something no one can control. This virus has spread widely in the society and no vaccines are still found.

Celebrities – a news factory

Perhaps celebs' market value depends on how popular they are, how many followers they have on Twitter, Facebook etc. So they have this compulsion to keep their visibility high, at all costs.