Daily News Analysis

Covid 19 and Gender      

23rd November, 2021 Society

Figure 1: No Copyright Infringement Intended

Context:

  • Recently UNESCO released a new study, ‘when schools shut’, exposing the gendered impact of Covid-19 school closures on learning, health and well-being.

Finding of the Study:

  • Girls and boys, young women and men were affected differently by school closures, depending on the context.
  • At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1.6 billion students in 190 countries were affected by school closures. 
  • Educational disruption of this extent has alarming effects on learning loss and school dropout.
  • It poses threats to gender equality, including effects on health, well being and protection that are gender specific.
  • Gender norms and expectations can affect the ability to participate in and benefit from remote learning.
  • schools are sites not only for learning, but also lifelines for girls and boys – an essential space for their health, well-being and protection.

 

Different Impact on Girls than boys:

  • Girls faced difficulties in engaging in digital remote learning modalities in many contexts because of limited access to internet-enabled devices, a lack of digital skills and cultural norms restricting their use of technological devices.
  • “In poorer contexts, girls’ time to learn was constrained by increased household chores. Boys’ participation in learning was limited by income-generating activities. 
  • In the study on Pakistan, only 44 per cent of girls in participating districts reported owning mobile phones for their personal use, whereas 93 per cent of boys did so. 
  • Girls access to parent’s phone was restricted since some parents were concerned that providing girls with access to smartphones would lead to misuse and could result into romantic relationships.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) 

Context:

  • Odisha government has urged the Centre to consider extending additional allocation of rice at least for the next eight months under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for its free distribution.

About:

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) is a scheme as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat to supply free food grains to migrants and poor. 
  • Its nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Finance.
  • It was initially announced for a three month period (April, May and June 2020), covering 80 crore ration cardholders. Later it was extended till November 2020.

Eligibility for the Scheme:

  • Families belonging to the Below Poverty Line – Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) categories will be eligible for the scheme.
  • PHH are to be identified by State Governments/Union Territory Administrations as per criteria evolved by them.
  • AAY families are to be identified by States/UTs as per the criteria prescribed by the Central Government:
  • Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
  • Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
  • All primitive tribal households.
  • Landless agriculture labourers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitutes and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
  • All eligible Below Poverty Line families of HIV positive persons.