COVID-19 Pandemic Impacting Girls’ Access To School, Maternal, Child, Women’s Health, Worsening Period Poverty

Devex: Many girls won’t go back to school when lockdown is over
“Around 90% of the world’s schoolchildren were confined to their homes in April, and if history is any indication, many girls won’t return to school once lockdowns are lifted. As a result, the coronavirus pandemic could threaten decades of progress for gender equality and girls’ education, experts say. They point to past experiences, such as school closures during the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, which led to girls remaining out of school in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone…” (Smith, 5/27).

The Guardian: Denied beds, pain relief and contact with their babies: the women giving birth amid Covid-19
“…Unable to have a birth companion, coerced into undergoing medical interventions, denied pain relief, and separated from their newborns. This is the new reality for expectant and new mothers in many countries, as experts warn the coronavirus outbreak is leading to an infringement of women’s birth rights…” (Summers, 5/28).

The Independent: Menstrual Hygiene Day: Period poverty is getting worse during lockdown, charity warns
“Shortages of sanitary products and price hikes during the coronavirus pandemic have led to a rise in period poverty, a children’s charity has warned. As countries around the globe have been forced into lockdowns to help curb the spread of Covid-19, people across the globe are facing increasing struggles to access the sanitary products and facilities they need to manage their periods hygienically and with dignity…” (Young, 5/28).

Reuters: Pandemic worsens pain of periods for women across the world: NGO
“…About three-quarters of health professionals in 30 countries surveyed by Plan International, from Kenya to Australia, reported supply shortages, while 58% complained of rising and prohibitive prices of sanitary products. Around half the respondents cited reduced access to clean water to help manage periods, and a quarter worried about greater stigma or discriminative cultural practices linked to menstruation for women who were trapped at home by lockdowns…” (McPherson, 5/28).