Women bear brunt of lockdown as men ask varieties of food

Chennai: Time will tell whether the lockdown gets extended beyond 14 April, but it has unlocked many ‘unexplored’ queries.

From nature to wildlife, from childhood to US President’s ‘threat’- questions unending that are knocking at the door of life- domestic violence being the latest.

Across the globe from Washington to Beijing, from Spain to Brazil, from Delhi to Dindigul, calls to hotlines and desperate texts seeking help have shot up.

The National Commission for Women says that between 23 March and 1 April, as many as 257 women have reached out to for help. Of these, 13 women have registered complaints of rape and attempt to rape, 69 women sought protection from domestic violence and 77 others had various complaints such as dowry and online harassment. Maximum complaints were from UP (90), followed by Delhi (37), Bihar and Odisha (18) each.

According to NCW chief Rekha Sharma, the worrying thing was that women are scared to complain during a lockdown.
“They do not want to go to the police as they fear that if the husband is taken away, the in-laws will abuse them as they are living in the same house. There is no option of moving out and going to the parents’ house,” Rekha Sharma pointed out.

To help more women get help, Women Entrepreneurs for Transformation (WEFT) Foundation, a non- profit, has launched a new initiative called ‘ red dot’ under which domestic violence victims can put a red dot on their palms to alert people.

Rekha, further said that the Commission has taken action to help the complainants in 237 of the 257 complaints registered. All these are online complaints and currently the only point of access during the lockdown, as the Commission’s public interface at its headquarters has stopped.

Meanwhile, Geetha, a homemaker in Chennai, says, “eversince the lockdown was announced and people were made to stay indoors, my husband and children have been asking me to make varieties of food items, especially snacks. These days, I spend most of the day in the kitchen. But, I am not saying this as complaint as they help me in other household chores.”


NT Bureau