ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

COVID-19 LockdownSubscribe to COVID-19 Lockdown

Morality and Mortality

The COVID-19 pandemic and its concomitant socio-economic shocks have severely affected the lives of sex workers and members of the transgender community. This article examines how the visibility of such sexual minorities in public spaces has been perceived as a threat to public decency and morality. It highlights the exclusionary pressures they face from the state and community, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19. Overcrowded housing, financial precarity, and a reduction in demand for their services place them at higher risk of infection and starvation, while political and social exclusion restricts their access to government services.


Falling behind the Curve Is Not an Option

India must jettison orthodox economics amidst the pandemic to protect employment and sustain a recovery.


How did India’s Women Enterprises Fare during the COVID-19 Lockdown?

The pandemic has affected self-employed women (comprising women entrepreneurs, women self-help group members and home-based workers), which include almost 50% of all working women in India, due to disruptions in supply chains. Further, non-payment of past wages and pending arrears have made these women and their households prone to economic shocks. This article draws on findings from research conducted during the lockdown to understand the economic impact on women-owned and led enterprises.

Overcoming Precarity: How Informal Women Workers Coped During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns worsened the working conditions for women in the informal economy, resulting in loss of jobs, food insecurity, and reverse migration from cities to rural areas, more often than not along with their families. This article presents findings from an evaluation and looks at how informal women workers, such as domestic workers, beedi rollers and agricultural workers, fared in the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal during the pandemic. It looks at the impact of collectivisation efforts through SEWA’s programme to assuage the socio-economic challenges that emerged for these informal women workers.

An Ongoing Pandemic

Domestic violence is widespread and deep-rooted in India and its ubiquity was highlighted prominently during the COVID-19 lockdown. This paper explores the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on domestic violence on women, the shifts in forms and intensity of this violence, and women’s responses through an analysis of cases of survivors that Swayam (a feminist organisation, headed by the author, working on the issue of violence against women in Kolkata) dealt with in the first half of 2020. It also evaluates the response of state agencies and the challenges faced and strategies used by civil society organisations, which, for years, have been active in working at providing and ensuring survivors’ access to support services.


COVID-19 and Women’s Labour Crisis: Reiterating an Inclusive Policy Response

The covid-19 pandemic in India has had an unequal impact on women in a number of ways. In terms of economic opportunity, it has been seen that more women lost jobs compared to men and fewer have been able to rejoin labour force. This is in the context of gendered labour markets where female labour force participation has been low and declining. This paper presents an analysis of the situation of women’s employment pre-lockdown and some indications on what the impact of Covid-19 could be, based on microstudies and other literature available. Further, the adequacy of the social protection and employment generation programmes of the government that are specifically aimed at improving female labour force participation is assessed.


The Continuing Saga of Women’s Work during COVID-19

This paper employs a social reproduction framework to argue that the two main institutions of capitalism—the markets and the state—have failed to adequately provide for the working people of India during the pandemic while fostering gender inequities. While the demand for gender equity in the domestic sphere and the workplace is not new, the pandemic further underscores its urgency.


Lockdowned Cinema

A series of reports in the media recently noted the shock expressed by multiplex exhibitors at producers releasing films on OTT (over the top) platforms. In this period of the national lockdown due to COVID-19, when film production activities have stopped, and film exhibition in cinema houses has come to a halt, a number of such issues have become relevant. This article discusses three aspects of the social consumption of cinema in the lockdown. First, it discusses the consumption of the film star as a commodity. Second, it considers the fallout of the lockdown for the shift in viewing towards OTT platforms. Third, it explores the challenges of the lockdown faced by cine workers, who contribute labour for its creation but are not seen on the screen.

'Invisible Victims' of Violence: A Gender and Disability Perspective of Coronavirus in India

The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented rise in the cases of domestic violence. Women with disabilities are located at such a disadvantaged position in the current social matrix that they are more vulnerable to any form of violence than non-disabled women. Crisis perpetuates the existing inequalities in the society which has made women with disabilities even more vulnerable as they stand at a unique intersection of gender and disability. However, their issues remain invisible around this narrative. Their numbers are not accounted for properly in the official statistics. There is simply no recognition of such issues in the official data which fails to provide any disaggregated information around disability. Further, the current redressal mechanism under the existing laws completely overlooks the special needs of women with disabilities and the justice system continues to remain inaccessible to them. There is an urgent need to approach disasters from an intersectional perspective which can be crucial for the government in reaching out to the most vulnerable.

COVID-19: Examining the Impact of Lockdown in India after One Year

One year after its announcement in March 2020, the consequences of India’s strict COVID-19 lockdown measures and ineffective policy responses continue to be felt, be it in terms of livelihood loss and economic downturn or increased marginalisation of vulnerable sections of society.

(Non)Humanising the Home in the Anthropocene

The concept of home is revisited in the context of the pandemic to ask whether we can think about other species and their habitats in the Anthropocene. By weaving instances from literature, where the idea of home has served as a critical philosophical and cathartic plot point, with phenomenological readings of home, this article asks how the pandemic may help us reimagine home in its many resonances of shelter, sanctuary, house, bunker, and community. How does the pandemic modify and have an impact on the various inflections of home?


A Rendering of Disability and Gender in the COVID-19 Era

Discourses on COVID-19 must be inclusive of “disabled bodies.” This requires a radical change in the way discourses around gender, disability and pandemics are constructed. It requires us to question philosophies of liberalism and enlightenment (that continue to dominate policymaking and governance). They emphasise on dignity as capacity to reason, and thus, are “ableist” and patriarchal in their approach. Persons with disabilities (particularly women) are seen as unproductive, thus excluded from liberal political states that were primarily based on values of mutual interest/advantage ensured by contractual relations. Thus, a case is made for a more inclusive politics. It argues for a politics that is based on existential concerns of women with disabilities towards a politics that embraces gender and identity fluidity to build a society based on ethics of inclusion and universal solidarity.


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