coronavirus Lockdown to result in 70 lakh unwanted pregnancies
Over 70 million women in low and middle-income countries may be denied access to modern contraceptives due to barriers related to lockdown in more than six months: United Nations Population Fund
New Delhi: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has said that disruptions of key health services due to coronavirus lockdown may increase cases of unwanted pregnancies. According to its report, around five crore women in low- and middle-income countries may be deprived of the use of modern contraceptives due to the lockdown, which could lead to 7 million cases of unwanted pregnancies in the coming months, says the UNFPA report. The threat of unwanted pregnancies due to the crisis, cases of violence and other forms of exploitation against women are also expected to increase rapidly. UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem said, "These new figures show the terrible impact that women and girls all over the world can have." This epidemic is deepening discrimination and millions of women and girls may fail to protect their bodies and health." This study shows that 45 million women in 114 low and middle income countries use contraceptives.
"Over 70 million women in low- and middle-income countries may be denied access to modern contraceptives due to barriers related to lockdown in more than six months," it added. The six-month lockdown could bring an additional 30 million cases of gender discrimination. In this time of the epidemic, the pace of ongoing programs towards the elimination of malpractices such as women circumcision (FGM) and child marriage can also be affected. This would lead to an estimated 2 million more cases of circumcision in a decade. Apart from this, one crore 30 lakh cases of child marriage can come up in the next 10 years.
These figures have been prepared in collaboration with John Hopkins University of America and Victoria University of Australia.