According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), ongoing lockdowns and major disruptions to health services during the Covid-19 pandemic leaves 47 million women in low and middle-income countries unable to use modern contraceptives.
This could lead to seven million unintended pregnancies in these upcoming months.
Researchers also predicted that there will be 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence. Some 15 million extra cases of gender-based violence are expected for every three months if the coronavirus lockdown continues. 13 million girls may be forced into child marriages within the next ten years.
These figures produced in collaboration with partners Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University (USA) and Victoria University (Australia) are rough estimates.
The analysis says while a great deal is still unknown about how the pandemic and the response to it will unfold around the world, the projections offer an alarming view of the future that could confront women and girls if efforts are not urgently made to secure their welfare and ensure their rights.
The executive director of the UNFPA, Dr Natalia Kanem said,
“This new data shows the catastrophic impact that Covid-19 could soon have on women and girls globally. The pandemic is deepening inequalities, and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health… Women’s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs. The services must continue, the supplies must be delivered and the vulnerable must be protected and supported.”
With that, it is clear how important it is to stay at home and practice social distancing as a way to contribute to flattening the curve. If the lockdown continues and health services continue to deplete, the repercussions may be irrevocable.
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