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1
Gender-based violence and
women’s sexual and reproductive
health in the pre- and post-COVID-19
era
Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director
Population Foundation of India
pmuttreja@populationfoundation.in
KEY CONCERNS
Nutrition
Education
Early marriage
Child labour &
trafficking
Economic stress
Mental health
Access to Sexual and
Reproductive Health
(SRH) Services
Intimate Partner
Violence
Large unmet need for family planning
13% of currently married women have an
unmet need for family planning.*
Limited access to modern methods
Nearly 47 percent of women do not use
any contraceptives*
Female sterilization still accounts for 75%
of contraceptive use in India, highest in
the world. *
Large numbers of abortions
15·6 million abortions occurred in
India in 2015.**
33% of married women
have experienced spousal
violence*
*National Family Health Survey 2015-16
**Abortion and Unintended Pregnancies in India, Lancet 2015
2
Men and women consider
wife beating an acceptable
practice*
52% women and 42% men in
ages 15-49 years agreed that
a husband is justified in
hitting or beating his wife.
COVID-19 IS LIKELY TO EXACERBATE THE SITUATION
Intimate partner violence
3
• Surge in the reported cases of
crime against women.
• 2,043 complaints in June –
highest in last 8 months. 603
cases of mental and emotional
abuse*
• Cases continue to be severely
under-reported
BIRTHS AND
INSTITUTIONA
L DELIVERIES
20 MILLION BABIES
expected to be born in the
country between March and
December
(UNICEF, 2020)
ALMOST 40% DROP
in institutional deliveries in states
such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,
West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha
and Chhattisgarh
(Media reports)
ACCESS TO
CONTRACEPTIVES
ACCESS TO
ANC SERVICES
26 MILLION 50% OR MORE
couples in India who
will have no access to
contraceptives due
to lock down in 2020
(FRSH India)
frontline workers
who reported that
women were not
accessing ante-natal
care (ANC) services
(PFI Study, 2020)
UNMET NEED OF
YOUNG PEOPLE
ACCESS TO
ABORTION
Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services
YOUNG
PEOPLEin UP, Bihar and
Rajasthan reported an
unmet need for
reproductive health
services, sanitary pads
during the lockdown
(PFI study 2020)
1.9 MILLION
Indian women will be
unable to access
abortion services in
near term due to
COVID-19
(IPAS)
(National Commission for Women)
PRIORITIZE SOCIAL
AND BEHAVIOUR
CHANGE
COMMUNICATION
END THE NEGLECT
OF WOMEN’S
CONCERNS IN PRE-
AND POST-COVID
RESPONSES
EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS
Collection of gender
disaggregated data to
understand the true impact
of COVID-19 on women
Ensure women’s equal
representation in all COVID-
19 response planning and
decision making
Promote greater gender
equality – changing notions
of masculinity
Ensure greater freedom for
women especially to make
reproductive health choices
4
STRENGHTEN
FAMILY
PLANNING
SERVICES
Ensure uninterrupted
supply of reversible
contraceptives and self
care methods, including to
young people
Increase budgetary
allocations for family
planning
Support ASHAs to ensure
continued access to family
planning
DEVELOP A PUBLIC
HEALTH RESPONSE
TO END VIOLENCE
Provide preventive,
curative and systematic
referral support to the
survivors of violence and
early detection
Train healthcare providers
to provide better quality of
care and counseling
services to women
5
THANK YOU

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Ms. Poonam Muttreja, ED, Population Foundation of Indai, Aug 8, 2020

  • 1. 1 Gender-based violence and women’s sexual and reproductive health in the pre- and post-COVID-19 era Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director Population Foundation of India pmuttreja@populationfoundation.in
  • 2. KEY CONCERNS Nutrition Education Early marriage Child labour & trafficking Economic stress Mental health Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Services Intimate Partner Violence Large unmet need for family planning 13% of currently married women have an unmet need for family planning.* Limited access to modern methods Nearly 47 percent of women do not use any contraceptives* Female sterilization still accounts for 75% of contraceptive use in India, highest in the world. * Large numbers of abortions 15·6 million abortions occurred in India in 2015.** 33% of married women have experienced spousal violence* *National Family Health Survey 2015-16 **Abortion and Unintended Pregnancies in India, Lancet 2015 2 Men and women consider wife beating an acceptable practice* 52% women and 42% men in ages 15-49 years agreed that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife.
  • 3. COVID-19 IS LIKELY TO EXACERBATE THE SITUATION Intimate partner violence 3 • Surge in the reported cases of crime against women. • 2,043 complaints in June – highest in last 8 months. 603 cases of mental and emotional abuse* • Cases continue to be severely under-reported BIRTHS AND INSTITUTIONA L DELIVERIES 20 MILLION BABIES expected to be born in the country between March and December (UNICEF, 2020) ALMOST 40% DROP in institutional deliveries in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh (Media reports) ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTIVES ACCESS TO ANC SERVICES 26 MILLION 50% OR MORE couples in India who will have no access to contraceptives due to lock down in 2020 (FRSH India) frontline workers who reported that women were not accessing ante-natal care (ANC) services (PFI Study, 2020) UNMET NEED OF YOUNG PEOPLE ACCESS TO ABORTION Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services YOUNG PEOPLEin UP, Bihar and Rajasthan reported an unmet need for reproductive health services, sanitary pads during the lockdown (PFI study 2020) 1.9 MILLION Indian women will be unable to access abortion services in near term due to COVID-19 (IPAS) (National Commission for Women)
  • 4. PRIORITIZE SOCIAL AND BEHAVIOUR CHANGE COMMUNICATION END THE NEGLECT OF WOMEN’S CONCERNS IN PRE- AND POST-COVID RESPONSES EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS Collection of gender disaggregated data to understand the true impact of COVID-19 on women Ensure women’s equal representation in all COVID- 19 response planning and decision making Promote greater gender equality – changing notions of masculinity Ensure greater freedom for women especially to make reproductive health choices 4 STRENGHTEN FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES Ensure uninterrupted supply of reversible contraceptives and self care methods, including to young people Increase budgetary allocations for family planning Support ASHAs to ensure continued access to family planning DEVELOP A PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE TO END VIOLENCE Provide preventive, curative and systematic referral support to the survivors of violence and early detection Train healthcare providers to provide better quality of care and counseling services to women