The economic crisis in India has worsened due to the impact of COVID-19, laying bare the many inequities along the lines of gender. The socio-cultural moorings of the country will be a crucial determinant of how and in what degree the economic crisis affects different sections of the society, making women one of the worst affected communities by the recession and the pandemic at hand.
Women at home
With the nationwide lockdown and the consequent curtailment of mobility, families have been deprived of frameworks of solidarity existing outside the ambit of their houses. A report released by GSM Association in the year 2020 reveals that the gender gap between men and women for mobile ownership in India is as much as 20%. Women are often caught within abusive and repressive household environments with limited contact to the world outside. During the first few months of the lockdown, 1,477 complaints of domestic violence were registered by women – a number greater than that recorded in the same period in the last ten years.
Dogus Simsek, University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UK
A few days ago, I received a WhatsApp message from an undocumented migrant living in Istanbul stating that, 'Our situation is getting worse. I lost my job because of coronavirus. I am stuck here with my child. I do not know how I will pay the rent, buy food for my child. I do not know what to do if we catch the virus. We cannot go to hospital. We are stuck here with very limited facilities. I am very worried about our lives. There is no one to help us. Many of us who do not have documents feel very desperate at the moment'. This is probably one of the worst experiences she has gone through since she migrated to Turkey from Ghana. Trying to understand this feeling of desperation without the social, political and cultural context is hard.
Identities COVID-19 Blog Series
Explore expert commentaries curated by Identities surrounding COVID-19 and displaced migration, nationhood and citizenship, and more.