Coronavirus pandemic is set to cause havoc on women’s sexual and reproductive health around the world, a new report has revealed.
The United Nations’ Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency (UNFPA) has reported that millions of women will lose access to contraception, face unexpected pregnancies and suffer gender-based violence as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Researchers have predicted that there will be an extra seven million unintended pregnancies and 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence.
Some 15 million extra cases of gender-based violence are expected every three months in which the coronavirus lockdown goes on.
“This new data shows the catastrophic impact that Covid-19 could soon have on women and girls globally. The pandemic is deepening inequalities, and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health,” said Dr Natalia Kanem, who is the Executive Director of the UNFPA.
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
“Women’s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs. The services must continue, the supplies must be delivered, and the vulnerable must be protected and supported,” Dr Kanem further said.
The report also states that due to the disruption of programs to prevent female genital mutilation in response to Covid-19, 2 million female genital mutilation cases may occur over the next decade that could have been averted.
Covid-19 will also disrupt efforts to end child marriage, potentially resulting in an additional 13 million child marriages taking place between 2020 and 2030 that could otherwise have been averted.