Due to the lockdown imposed on countries following the covid-19 pandemic women are unable to access family planning. In a data released by the United Nations, it shows that the global pandemic could leave 47 million women in low and middle-income countries unable to use modern contraceptives, therefore, making way for 7 million unintended pregnancies in a few months to come.
The data shows that not only unintended pregnancies will rise but also gender based violence and other harmful practices will rise as well. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director on Tuesday said: “This new data shows the catastrophic impact that Covid-19 could soon have one woman and girls globally”. According to the study worldwide, around 450 million women across 114 low and middle-income countries use contraceptives. Kanem also added “Women’s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs”, while adding that the ‘vulnerable’ must be safeguarded and supported.
Currently, the UNFPA is working hard to make sure that the needs of women and girls are a top priority during these covid-19 times. The agency is also paying attention to gender-based violence services, strengthening health systems and protecting health workers. According to the study, women are also skipping essential check-ups due to fear of contracting the virus. Johns Hopkins University shows that a great deal concerning the virus is still unknown and is raising an alarm to secure the rights of women and girls to avoid a bad view in the future. The pandemic has also affected programs intended at ending child marriage and failure in economic hardships could cause 13 million child marriages in the next 10 years.