During the covid-19 crisis, decades of work towards gender equality was completely unravelling. 50% of all women lost their job during the multiple lockdowns andwith school closures, 10 million girls were unable to attend school and domestic violence was increasing by the day.
The collective trauma and effects of covid is ongoing-especially amongst women. Due to the stress of the covid-19 crisis, domestic violence is still on the rise and mass shortages of food resulted in women, belonging to certain areas, reporting to be extremely malnourished, especially mothers.In the particularlyeffected households, they are at an increased risk of being trafficked for economic, sexual work or bonded labour.
In response to this, our partners carried out surveys, to identify the most vulnerable households and areas. Then began delivering nutrition dense packages to 1,500 families. Livelihood support has also been prioritised for women who are barely surviving because of the pandemic. After several surveys, two sustainable areas were identified: tailoring/textiles and food processing.Training facilities and courseshave been set up to provide courses on tailoring and sewing. There is a strong local demand for ready made garments and masks as an essential, which they can address.
Another focus of this project was to tackle violence against women.It encourages women to learn their rights and empowers them how to identify, address and tackle such issues at a community level. This started with training on understanding the cycle of violence, how to identify signs and symptoms, associated causes, consequences, legal measures, andunderstanding difficulties that women face during reporting. Moreover, how to address this at a community level, involving men.
“It is normal that girls in our community are not sent to schools after their basic schooling. The same happened with me and I got married at a very early age. But after this session on ‘Asserting against Violence’, I understand the value of education and what difference it can make in one’s life. Also, how important it is for a woman to raise her voice against gender discrimination.” – Feedback from a participant.
We hope you have enjoyed reading the incredible and vital work that is being carried out, which your help is going towards. The aftermath of Covid is still very much here, and we will continue to serve the communities that need this support to repair, heal and thrive.