The United Nations Organization warned on Tuesday that “in the coming months” seven million women will suffer unwanted pregnancies during the coronavirus pandemic due to the inability to obtain contraceptives.
Specifically, according to the agency, if confinement orders are held for six months, 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries will not have access to modern contraceptives. In this context, if the coronavirus interruptions remained for a year, there could be up to 15 million unwanted pregnancies.
However, it is not the only “catastrophic impact” that Covid-19 will have on millions of women. Research by the UN Population Fund, Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University (United States) and the University of Victoria (Australia) noted that, since gender-based violence increases by 20 percent during periods of confinement, There would be 31 million additional cases of abuse in a six-month confinement.
For every three months that confinement continues, there will be an additional 15 million cases of gender violence. Furthermore, the pandemic is likely to cause a one-third reduction in progress towards ending gender-based violence by 2030.
Furthermore, the United Nations warned that programs to eradicate female genital mutilation and child marriage will also be delayed.
Thus, in the next decade, an additional two million girls will be mutilated and an additional 13 million minors will be forced to marry. The agency also anticipates a one-third reduction to the goal of the end of female genital mutilation, in 2030.
The economic downturn caused by the pandemic is also more likely to have a major impact on poverty levels in low-income countries, where child marriage is more prevalent as it is used to ease the economic burden on daughters.
“The data shows the catastrophic impact that Covid-19 may soon have on women and girls around the world,” said the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, Natalia Kanem, while admitting that the proposed calculations they are provisional and will depend on how the pandemic evolves.