Islamabad, April 14 (IANS) While the entire world was being adversely affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, serious concerns were being raised over worsening of the already existing social and gender inequalities in Pakistan due to the health crisis, according to a report.

Policy Paper ‘Gendered Impact and Implications of COVID-19 in Pakistan’ — jointly released by the Ministry of Human Rights, UN Women Pakistan and National Commission on the Status of Women (NSCW)— has stated that the pandemic was likely to have an adverse impact on the lives and livelihoods of women and vulnerable groups, The Exprss Tribune reported on Tuesday.

The report states that most women in Pakistan were part of the informal low-wage labour market and thus suffer from low-income security and a lack of access to safety nets and social protection during the crisis, suggested certain measures including building women’s economic resilience, targeted cash and loan programmes as well as access to financial services.

It further suggested the integration of gender-based violence services into response efforts as essential services.

“Women’s vulnerability increases with lockdown as they often have to live with abusers and may find it difficult to even call for help,” The Express Tribune quoted Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari stated.

She elaborated that her Ministry has ensured that its helpline and women crisis shelters remain operational during the crisis, with specific protocols in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We are also working towards ensuring that the police, health workers, and social workers were responding to the specific and critical needs of women during this time,” she added.




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