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‘Pandemic led to spurt in domestic abuse’

Women organisations stage a protest in Khammam

Activists of various women’s organisations staged a joint stir here on Friday demanding urgent steps to curb increasing domestic violence against women and provide succour to lakhs of underprivileged women deprived of access to healthcare and livelihood security in the current COVID-19 crisis.

Members of Progressive Organisation for Women (POW), All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) and several other organisations took part in the demonstration held at the Dharna Chowk in the town.

Addressing the dharna, women activists said the crisis triggered by the pandemic led to spurt in the incidents of domestic abuse and loss of livelihoods, further aggravating the plight of poor women across the State.

The women domestic workers, farm labourers, street vendors and other daily wage earners are bearing the brunt of the unprecedented crisis.

The hapless women are reeling under severe psychological distress due to the socio-economic impact of the pandemic induced crisis, they deplored.

Some speakers pointed out that the current crisis is taking a heavy toll on the physical and mental well-being of women from marginalised communities, who are vulnerable to malnutrition and anaemia.

"The State and Central government’s response to the coronavirus crisis so far has been a miserable failure," they alleged. They demanded that immediate measures be taken to ensure financial support, food grains and healthcare facilities to millions of distressed women to help them cope with the unprecedented turmoil.

AIDWA district general secretary M Bharathi, POW district general secretary Ch Siromani and others led the protest.

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