The multiple normalized burdens on women – from social and so-called ‘cultural’ ostracization and exclusion, patriarchal norms which discriminate simply on the basis of gender, economic and political marginalization and discrimination, and issues of gender violence, to name just a few – were all considerably magnified during the coronavirus pandemic. At minimum, psychologists in Pakistan and elsewhere have noted that women now “have had to disproportionately bear a triple burden of work: increased household work with everyone at home, increased and constant caretaking responsibilities (including coronavirus patients), and home schooling of children (including learning and managing new technology).” It is also feared that domestic abuse and gender based violence have increased in a “horrifying surge.” This surge would add to the existing “70 to 90 percent of women [who] experience some form of physical, emotional or psychological abuse from an intimate partner” in Pakistan. With pre-pandemic domestic and gender-based violence already approaching catastrophic proportions, the pandemic lockdown means that the perpetrators of that violence – men – are now also locked-out of their offices and public spaces and are locked-in at home. Women and girls therefore face the brunt of far worse oppression, given (male) frustration, loss of male and family income, and other situational changes.
 Farahnaz Zahidi, “Unsafe at home,” The News, August 20, 2020 https://www.thenews.com.pk/magazine/you/700989-unsafe-at-home
 Scott Neuman, “Global Lockdowns Resulting in ‘Horrifying Surge’ In Domestic Violence, UN Warns,” NPR, April 6, 2020 https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/06/827908402/global-lockdowns-resulting-in-horrifying-surge-in-domestic-violence-u-n-warns
 “Gender and Pandemic Urgent Call for Action,” UNODC, https://www.unodc.org/documents/pakistan/Advocacy_Brief_4_Gender_-COVID-19-Punjab.pdf
Published Date: October 13, 2020