GUWAHATI, July 28 - A study conducted in 11 districts of Assam revealed that 86 per cent of the respondents were out of paid work during the COVID-induced lockdown and 67.77 per cent have not been paid during the period.
Again, 73.55 per cent are willing to get back to work but not quite sure about it while 19 per cent are uncertain whether they will go back to work again or not.
The study was carried out among 200 women during April and May in Kamrup Metro, Kamrup, Karbi Anglong, Chirang, Barpeta, Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Darrang, Golaghat, Dhemaji and Udalguri district.
Titled �Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on women in Assam� the study was conducted by Women�s Leadership Training Centre, Women in Governance, North East Network Action for Inclusion and Empowerment Trust, Kokrajhar-Chirang and Sanmilita Mahila Samiti, with support from Zubaan, New Delhi.
During the study, 80.73 per cent of the women reported that they were facing shortage of food, 47.39 per cent had to depend on NGOs and community support for food, and only 2.08 per cent received the direct ration benefits introduced specially by the government to deal with the lockdown.
During the study, it was found that 42.5 per cent of the households surveyed were suffering from either chronic or acute ailments which exacerbated by the lockdown. Reproductive and menstrual health were also affected as access to primary health centres was drastically reduced. Differently-abled women were not able to access any form of healthcare during the time the study was conducted.
The report revealed that 51.92 per cent of the respondents could not access healthcare services due to the lockdown, 11.54 per cent reported unavailability of doctors, 30.77 per cent had major financial constrains that affected their ability to access healthcare and 35.29 per cent could avail only medication due to lack of professional medical attention during that period.
Closure of schools and alternate educational institutions had showed multiple effects as 82 per cent of respondents spoke of their inability to attend online classes due to network issues or unavailability of smartphones, while the respondents having differently-abled students also pointed out the lack of educational services for their children.
During the study period, 14.06 per cent of the respondents reported different forms of violence, where 8.33 per cent identified family members as the perpetrators and 37.31 per cent reported witnessing some form of domestic violence or harassment.