Being a woman makes you the creator of races and blesses you with the ability to give birth. Women are thus, powerful and of course better in whatever they choose to do. One such thing that some great women leaders and example setters of the world have done. And this is to stand united and strong against the COVID-19 Pandemic.
With the COVID-19 crisis building up, crashing the world economy, harming health, and claiming lives. Women are acting as a shield to protect all from crippling due to this Pandemic Lockdown. Women despite economic insecurities and increased risk of domestic violence continue to serve their homes as well as humanity. They are occupying pivotal roles as mothers, homemakers, world leaders, and healthcare providers.
World Leaders from The Fairer Sex Outshine Their Male Counterparts COVID-19
Germany, Taiwan, and New Zealand have Women as their leaders. All of them have done an outstanding job in the response towards the COVID-19 crisis. Tsai Ing-Wen, the first female president of Taiwan has spearheaded a successful defence line to the pandemic. Despite the close proximity to the Chinese borders, Taiwan has been able to largely contain the virus spread. And currently is donating masks to the US and European countries.
New Zealand on the other hand, led by Jacinda Ardern, has reported only 17 COVID-19 deaths so far owing of course to its small size but also widespread testing and a lot of clarity about COVID-19. Angela Merkel the Chancellor of Germany has taken a hard hit on her nation; however, the mortality rate is low in comparison to the US, Italy, France, and Spain. Thanks to the early and widespread testing and availability of Intensive Care Beds in larger numbers.
Women Doctors and Policy Makers Leading Fight Against COVID-19
After Leaders, it is the turn of the healthcare professionals and administrators from the fairer sex to get applauded for their contribution. Scientists, Doctors, policymakers, and enforcers, these women have been working tirelessly to give a fighting response to COVID-19. More than 70% of the healthcare workforce is made up of female employees putting them in grave risk of being exposed and infected. Braving all these challenges. Women from the administration, diagnosis, prevention, research, and cure. Women from everywhere are working round the clock at the forefront to ensure smooth functioning.
Preeti Sudan is M.Phil in Economics and Post Graduate from the London School of Economics. She is the Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India. She is busy aligning and executing reforms and policies pertaining to COVID-19 directives laid forth by the Narendra Modi Government. This is extremely crucial to avert the spread of the disease further and requires constant follow up with other departments of Central and State Governments.
Dr. Priya Abraham is Director at the National Institute of Virology, Pune, India. She has isolated the deadly coronavirus to understand its behavior better. This is a great breakthrough in the scope of finding a perfect treatment. She has also been successful in reducing the testing time of the COVID-19 samples to hours from 12-14 hours.
Dr. Renu Swarup is Secretary at the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, and is an outstanding scientist. She is currently engaged day and night in the crucial research of developing a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus. She is also focusing on developing portable ventilators and cost-effective testing kits to fight the Pandemic in India.
Dr. Nivedita Gupta is a senior scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). She is one of the key people to have set up laboratories in the government and private sectors. And as well as setting up treatment and testing protocols across the country. These women have what it takes to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 crisis!!
Women Self-Help Groups from India Rise Up to The Occasion
Women Self-help groups come to the fore as India observes an unprecedented Lockdown. They have risen to the challenges thrown across by the COVID-19 Pandemic. In over 90% of the country, SHG’s are producing Masks, running community kitchens, and delivering essential supplies across to people. SHG’s run under the Indian Government’s flagship program to reduce poverty and empower women, about 67 million Indian rural women stand employed. This program provides them with a means of livelihood.
The same SHG’s are now contributing with their bit towards fighting the Corona outbreak and playing a very critical role. They are working really hard to meet the shortfall of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) like Face Masks and Sanitizers. Their mass production has already touched several lives across India. With the economic slowdown and daily wage laborers being affected severely. The SHG’s have set up over 10,000 community kitchens across the country. They are currently feeding the poor and the vulnerable, also people who are sick or in quarantine.
These women groups are also disseminating COVID-related messages to the grass-root level people in villages. They are raising awareness about hygiene, social distancing and health practices, etc. via WhatsApp Groups and mobile phones. They are also supplying essential goods to the elderly and quarantined people during this critical time. Women Self Help Groups are supported by the Government of India’s National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) and also aided financially by the World Bank.
Teachers Support Home Schooling as Students Rely on Online Education
Every child might have dreamt at some point in their lives to have their schools on lockdown. The year 2020 affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic has led schools and colleges to be shut down. The teaching staff across the world also needs a mention during this lockdown phase of the Pandemic. Most of the teaching workforce is women. All of them are really putting in hard efforts. Efforts to manage their homes as well as course modules via online sessions throughout the day.
With schools shut down and no salaries, the slumber certainly has hit them hard. On top of that, they are having to Work From Home. Also, they are giving their lectures using digital mediums to students. Not to forget the household chores and families these females have to manage as well. There is a lot of panic already on the reopening of schools and syllabus completion. Job security for these teachers being nil given to the current lockdown and poor economic condition. However, these women from the Teaching Force are putting up a strong, bold, and positive face at work. They are cheering up young students to help them see the brighter sides in the darkest of times.
Women Fight Against Domestic Violence Epidemic
The COVID-19 times are trying times, especially for women as they face gender-based violence against them. The cases of verbal abuse, physical violence, and sexual assaults or violence have worsened already as the COVID-19 crisis takes shape. Social distancing and strict enforcement of lockdown only lead to frustration, building up triggering a surge in domestic violence against the so-called weaker sex. This is not limited to any one country but is the case across the globe. As many women are trapped in homes with their abusers, the increase in Domestic violence has begun.
Patriarchal norms and mindsets just trigger this violence more against women and children. The consequences of COVID-19 on public health are well known. However, its negative effects on the economy are also surfacing. Higher rates of unemployability for Women and Men lost wages, or job-related insecurities are bound to increase domestic violence cases. But women despite facing all this along with additional responsibilities, take everything in their stride. With the lockdown, they hardly have anyone to go to or rely on. It is time for Governing authorities across the globe to take action. Time to reform their policies and come out with schemes to provide support to such women.
Working tirelessly From Home and For Home to Make Both Ends Meet
The entire world is on a lockdown mode. Every person out there is sporting pictures of their extended lazy holidays and how they are utilizing it fruitfully. However, Women of the house do not have that advantage. From the time that they wake up till they sleep at night. They are constantly on the run to complete household chores or official work. Women were already working double shifts before the COVID-19 crisis took over. But now with closure of daycare facilities and schools, they are additionally also babysitting their kids. And helping them with their academics or catering to their recreational sides.
With no household helps, or a network to rely upon, they are managing all of this single-handedly. It is really difficult to ask for women continuing with household requirements or deliverables at work. And all these along with managing children especially during these trying times. It is difficult but women are putting up a smile and facing it all. It is in their nature to nurture and care and that is what they keep doing selflessly.
With jobs, businesses, and incomes in jeopardy only time will tell what is in store for women due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, one thing is for sure. Women are always ready to walk that extra mile. Even in trying times like these, they are ever ready to lead by example.