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Women’s Essential Needs Remain Ignored In Pandemic Times, Just Like They Always Are!

Posted: March 31, 2020

Who thinks about how women are affected, what their issues are, what their essentials are when people are dying of COVID-19, right? Why should the government and media bother?

Today, The whole world is trying to fight an invisible enemy. The governments are taking stringent actions like imposing section 144 and lockdown. It was undoubtedly essential to stop the spread of the virus. Our PM said that it was the only way to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Yes, social distancing is indeed necessary to prevent the pandemic from opening its mouth in India.

Since the day of lockdown, many issues have come to the surface. The beating of delivery boys due to the confusion regarding the nature of home delivery services. Are they essential or not? Nonetheless, it was resolved later.

The most talked about problem is the plight of migrants travelling hundreds of kilometers on foot to reach home. Some deaths are also reported from exhaustion. The photos and videos of those poor migrants, their innocent children with hunger in their eyes, and a question on their sealed lips can bring tears in anyone’s eyes. Will I have to walk with this growling stomach today also?

But, I am not writing this article about the above sufferers. Neither am I going to make any comparisons here.

The focus of my article is a group whose problems are often thought upon secondarily. Even in this dire situation of today, the needs of that group are completely ignored by the planners and by the media.

Pornhub has made its content free to all to help them survive isolation. Porn is essential you know! The sale of condoms has increased rapidly after lockdown. Precaution is better, right?

But what about women’s essentials?

But, factories of sanitary napkins are being shut because sanitary napkins are not put ‘specifically’ in the list of essentials.

So, maybe it is not essential. They think it to be a luxury. In India, where women still use cloth during their periods, sanitary napkins are indeed a luxury. I should not complain if their production stops. We will manage how most women always did. With cloth. Vaginal infection is not a big deal, okay!

I should not have been surprised after knowing that there had been not a single mention of pregnant women. Many of them might have complex issues in their pregnancy and might need regular checkup. How are they going to manage? Regular visit to hospital is as dangerous to them as staying home. For mother and the unborn both. But, it doesn’t matter, right? Sometimes to save humanity we have to sacrifice. And, woman is a synonym of sacrifice. Correct!

There is a post circulating on social media. It is something like this:
“No rape cases, no air pollution, no water pollution…. …..etc etc” People in the comment section are like hurray! Some girls who believe in fairy tales starts to dream about roaming on the streets at midnight.

But are they ‘safe’ at home?

These are the same people who blame a woman for any assault done to her. She went out at night. Women should stay at home.

So, now they are at home. So, no rapes. However, among all this positivity, a husband had sex with his sleeping wife. It was not rape. They are married. A little boy is sleeping with his father, who keeps touching the private parts of the boy. It was NOT rape.

Skewed priorities

Our news channels think about the mental health of common people so much that they found some free time to play antakshari from their busy and tight schedule. They had to choose between playing antakshari and highlighting the case of an adoloscent girl raped by 10. One of them was her dear friend.

They are so considerate that they chose to play antakshari. You know singing songs and keeping ourselves calm. Ohh and about that rape case, we will talk another time. Don’t worry. Then, we will highlight that issue if we have no other issue.

The nation needs a positive attitude and bringing out the condition of victims of domestic violence will have an adverse effect on our beloved audience. How the husbands are now beating their wives even during office hours. Those few hours of non-violence if the in-laws are a bit more humane are now non-existent.

Dear women, we will look into this matter of you. Firstly, let us find all the loopholes in PM’s speech. It is tiring, you know. Or, on the other hand let us spend hours in praising his speech.

Just like the migrants, who were paid no attention before lockdown. Just like them, now we will have nothing else to show except the numbers of patients and death etc. Just like them, now we did not have any debate or discussion regarding their problems. We will come back to you when this is over and we have nothing else to show except some numbers. We will have heated discussions on what steps were needed to be taken just like we are doing today. What steps should have been taken to solve the problems of migrants. We will discuss. We will make you our subject of Prime Time. Just wait for everything else to end. Just wait till nothing else is left for us. Please, Wait.

Image source: shutterstock

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Shweta Verma is currently pursuing her masters in Mathematics from University of Delhi.

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