COVID-19, Lockdown and Violence against Women in Homes
10 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 28, 2020
COVID-19 has imposed mandatory lockdowns in many countries including India. However, since the lockdown has been imposed, attention is being focused on its economic repercussions and on providing food and shelter to poor and migrants. But the pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities and created challenges at other fronts too. More specifically, women’s lack of autonomy in the patriarchal homes is further getting reduces when today, `homes’ which are no longer merely seen as comfort zones, but during the lockdown, homes are evolving as spaces where people are working from home and earning their livelihoods, children are attending classes and other activities are being coordinated. Violence in such homes against women and children is rising during the lockdown. Women and children trapped within homes with the perpetrators of violence are facing severe abuse. In order to combat the situation and to make homes as safe zones, special measures are required. The government needs to declare domestic violence as `essential services’ and must take steps to provide immediate relief to women and children. In the long term, the need is to address entrenched structural discrimination in order to ensure gender equality within homes. Lockdowns may be interpreted in different ways. One is to lockdown our collective imaginations and allow the pre-existing stereotypical gender notions to continue and reiterate, or it could be, to isolate the world from the patriarchal notions and to reimagine a violence free gender just world.
Keywords: covid-19, lockdown, domestic violence, home, India, domestic violence act, patriarchy
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation