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Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on women’s mental health
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Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on women’s mental health

Post by on Sunday, July 25, 2021

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The Covid-19 pandemic is a major health crisis that has affected the lives of millions of people globally. It has affected every person in some way or the other. It has brought a feeling of fear and anxiety to almost everyone around the world. In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, quarantine has been a successful measure that has been adopted worldwide. However, it represents an unfavorable experience for the population. Certain factors including movement restriction, separation from family or friends, limited freedom, and fear of an uncertain future have a direct impact on society which causes a negative psychological impact on people around the globe. 
While most people’s lives and work have been negatively affected by the crisis, overall, it has been observed that women’s jobs and livelihoods are more vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic. Women more than men have been affected, both as frontline workers and at home. The specific psychological and psychiatric risks faced by women both as patients and as workers in the health sector is traumatizing. In addition, the increased risk of violence against women at home and workplace and, ultimately, the risk of child abuse in their families has increased. 
Covid-19 pandemic has affected women more profoundly than men in several areas, both at workplace, and at home with an increased workload due to lockdown as there were no helpers or maids. Worldwide, 70 percent of the health workers are made up of women who are often frontline health workers (nurses, midwives and community health workers). Similarly, most of health facility service staff such as cleaners, laundry, catering is majorly made up of women. As a result, the already existing gender inequality has been worsened by the pandemic situations. Children and women who stay at home tend to face harassment and sexual violence when they step out of their homes to procure necessities such as water, food, and firewood. Many countries, worldwide, have reported an increase in domestic violence cases after the viral outbreak during the lockdown period. In countries where lockdown has been imposed, home is unfortunately not always considered a safe and sound space for women and children.
Lack of adequate domestic and emotional support can also have an impact on women's mental health. The risk of psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also much higher in women. Using data and trends from the unemployment survey in the United States and India, where gender-sensitive data is available, we find that the unemployment rate for women due to Covid-19 is almost two times higher than the global unemployment rate, -5.7 compared to 3.1 percent respectively.
Before Covid-19, in the United States, 46 percent of workers was made up of women. Factoring in industry-mix effects data suggests that the number of women losing their job would make up 43 percent. However, unemployment data indicate that number of women losing their job would make up 54 percent of the overall job losses to date. Similarly, in India, before the pandemic 20 percent of the workforce was made up of women ; their share of job losses resulting from the industry mix alone is estimated at 17 percent, but unemployment surveys suggest that they actually account for 23 percent of overall job losses. It is evident that the gender status of work in all industries accounts for one-fourth of the difference between the unemployment rates for men and women.  The lack of systematic progress to address some of the social barriers for women explains what remains.
The type of work is always gender-sensitive: both women and men are often involved in different occupations in the mature and emerging economy. This, in turn, creates the gender implications of the epidemic: data shows that women's employment is 19 percent more likely than men's because it is believed that women are more likely to be affected by the Covid-19 problem. Data shows that 4.5 percent of women's employment is at risk of the global epidemic, compared with 3.8 percent of male employment. Compared with the combined number of women in international employment - 39 percent - women account for 54 percent of global employment in residential and food services, which are some of the most affected areas; 43 percent jobs in most stores; and 46 percent in other occupations, including arts, entertainment, and public administration. Other sectors, such as manufacturing, in which men are mostly employed are also significantly affected. Other sectors, such as education and health care, where women, the majority of whom have suffered less.
The first step to tackle the issue of rising gender violence during the pandemic is to first acknowledge them and report. The first step to be taken is spreading awareness about the importance of reporting incidents of abuse. It is a crucial step to reduce the number of such cases. Investigators also stressed the need to train health workers to identify signs of violence in dealing with the issue of same-sex violence. The effects of gender-based violence are long-lasting for victims. Therefore, it is important to maintain a sense of urgency in cases of gender-based violence whenever there are problems it can be maintained that there is a need for a comprehensive response model to address the issue of gender-based violence during the current and future epidemics. Health professionals, the media and community efforts must be brought together to address the issue of gender-based violence. In addition, ongoing and sustained efforts are needed to eliminate the stigma attached to report gender-based violence.

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