By A. Ernanny
We all know about covid-19`s coughing and fever symptoms, that they may arise only 2 weeks after the infection, and that we should wash our hands and avoid contact. To avoid further contagion governments around the world have demanded citizens to stay at home and respect the lockdown as they extend through the year, and whilst most of us rely in the lockdown as a safe net to survive the virus, some women around the world will most probably survive the virus we so fear, but not the lockdown.
Domestic violence has increased substantially since the beginning of the lockdowns. A female psychologist from a western Afghan city called Heran, has spoken on the domestic violence endemic where she believes what the United Nations had estimated that about 50% of women in Afghan face abuse from their partner in their lifetime, has turned into almost every single woman being beaten inside their home. She has expressed her fear for these women, claiming where she worked as a counselor, women were already risking their lives by seeking help, and now, this possibility doesn`t even exist, she has claimed to have lost all contact with the victims and that the clinic women would turn for safety has now been turned into a corona virus isolation center.
Although domestic abuse has been made a criminal offence in 2009 in Afghanistan, it is not taken seriously, and the government has not acted. On the other hand, Malaysia had their ‘women`s development department’ give advice on how women should behave during the lockdown.
Translation: Avoid wearing home clothes. Dress up as usual, groomed, and dressed neatly
The sexist propaganda completely ignores the issue that must be solved which is the increasing endemic of domestic abuse and gender inequality and rather instigates it by advising women to behave in a certain way, so their husbands will not ‘have reason to act unlawfully’.
While many may view this issue as one only present in under-developed countries, where this has always been common. The UK has also claimed that the number of women being killed by a male figure in their family has increased at such a rate in the first three weeks of lockdown that it has surpassed the highest it has been for the past 11 years.
Clearly, this is a severe issue that many are not aware of, but is affecting women all around the world, including Brazil. It is important to continue to raise awareness on the subject, always.