Questo documento ha una versione in italiano: Diritti riproduttivi, violenza e cura
Dieses Dokument existiert auch in einer deutschen Version: Reproduktive Rechte, häusliche Gewalt und Carework
Este documento tiene una versión en español: Derechos reproductivos, Violencia y Cuidado
While routine and non-urgent procedures are being postponed in the areas most affected by the epidemic, the exceptionality of the situation is negatively impacting women’s right to a safe abortion. In the USA, for instance, Republican lawmakers are demanding that any new funding to combat COVID-19 include the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment.
Therefore, organising networks that can map which hospitals are guaranteeing access to abortion is becoming a priority. In Italy, a Telegram Channel and a 24h hotline (+39 3319634889) were opened by the activist network Obiezione Respinta, in order to provide a mapping service (updated daily) and information about hospital and farmacies that guarantee reproductive rights. Another example is this list of hopital where is still possile to get an abortion, made by Consultoria Autogestita Transiti in Milan.
Covid-19: What implications for sexual and reproductive health and rights? On Friday 27 March 2020, Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters Journal (SRHM) hosted a webinar on the implications for sexual and reproductive health and rights in the era of Covid-19. Watch the recording here.
UK: Call from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS): A quarter of bpas clinics have already closed due to staff sickness and isolation, with further closures expected across NHS funded services. In the next 13 weeks as the pandemic reaches its peak, at least 44,000 women will need an Early Medical Abortion, with clinic closures forcing them to travel long distances, spreading COVID-19 and sitting in waiting rooms where social distancing is impossible.
Warning: for many, #stayathome is by no means a reassuring invitation. An increase of domestic violence at a time of forced domesticity, something that we can easily imagine, was plentifully in evidence in the first epicenter of the pandemic in China, where divorces have been spiking and the hashtag #AntiDomesticViolenceDuringEpidemic #疫期反家暴# was used over 3,000 times in the first month of the epidemic.
More recently, we have seen similar trends emerging in the second epicentre, Italy, a country notorious even in less difficult times for its high numbers of femicides at the hands of “those who hold the house keys”. During the last few days, chilling videos of domestic violence have begun to circulate on social media. These are videos that we will not link here, but that feminist sentinels on the net are mapping and trying to contain the cases.
The most significant action to combat domestic violence in these times of forced and prolonged proximity was put in place by the network of Italian anti-violence centers DiRE, with the support of the national transfeminist movement Non Una Di Meno. This network has so far secured the regular operation of national and regional domestic violence hotlines.
In this context, it becomes increasingly clear how gender violence is a structural device against which a perspective of systemic transformation must be activated, with initiatives ranging from educational prevention to workplace measures.
- Home Is Not A Safe Place For Everyone
- How to stop Coronavirus Lockdown Leading to an Upsurge in Violence Against Women, from the Oxfam blog
- Pandemic Inequalities, Pandemic Demands by Plan C.
- Survival kit for men under pressure Three umbrella organizations with expertise in working with boys, men and fathers in Germany (Bundesforum Männer), Austria (Dachverband Männerarbeit Österreich) and Switzerland (männer.ch) published a “Survival kit for men under pressure ”. The document makes recommendations for self-management to help men get through this crisis without using violence. This leaflet is available in Français, Deutsch, Italiano, English, Español, Português, Türkçe, Kurdî (Kurmancî), Shqip, Srpsko-hrvatski, Al-ʿarabiyya, Fārsī, Tamil, Tigriññā, Somali, Russkiy, Polski, Magyar, Slovenský, Nederlands. (Links from main webpage)
Workers who face the greatest health risks during the pandemic are the workers that carry out essential social reproduction tasks, such as cleaners, nurses, homecarers, cashiers and sexworkers. Yet, as feminist critiques explained many times over, these job are often worse off in terms of salary, hardship, precarity and safety conditions. They are also most often performed by women and migrants.
The statement of anonymous hospital cleaner from Bergamo (one of the cities hit hardest by the pandemic) has been shared many times on social media:
We are the invisible workers. We are the ones who get up at 5am in the morning, but nobody sees us. The only trace of our existence is the cleaning we do, which often goes unnoticed, as it is taken for granted. But we exist, we are here too. We too, the workers of the hospital cleaning service, are doing everything we can to make our organization as safe as possible during this period. We are here, despite the fact that no one talks about us, despite the fears, given the risks that we and our families are facing. We are here and we work, even if our collective bargaining agreement expired years ago, leaving us with ridiculous wages. Yes, we are working too, unceasingly like others, for ourselves and for the whole community.
Furthermore, even the economic redistributive measures set aside by the Italian government after a few weeks from the start of the pandemic, the “Cura Italia” decree, do not seem to ‘see’ care workers in the domestic and assistance sector. The measures in favor of this sector, in fact, are vague and not sufficient, also because many of the people who carry out these tasks are unregular workers and mostly migrants. Instead, it is precisely from this sector that we should start again to think of a new form of ‘care democracy’.
Another request, on the European scale, sets that it has become absolutely necessary to support care providers through an income that recognizes their public function and helps them carry it out in the best possible way. This document starts from the Green New Deal for Europe platform.
In the UK, cleaning, portering and catering staff at Lewisham Hospital - where Coronavirus cases have been treated - have walked out after private contractor ISS failed to pay the wages of the hospital workers.
In the meanwhile, a recent report on carework released by the NGO Oxfam estimates that:
Taxing an additional 0.5% of the wealth of the richest 1% over the next 10 years is equal to investments needed to create 117 million jobs in education, health and elderly careand other sectors,and to close care deficits.
- Time to Care. Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis. Oxfam briefing Paper, January 2020.
- SWARM HARDSHIP FUND (https://www.swarmcollective.org). The Sex Workers Advocacy and Resistance Movement (SWARM) is a sex worker led collective based in the UK. The project was founded in 2009 to advocate for the rights of everyone who sells sexual services. Thet set up a hardship fund to help the sex workers who are most in need. All donations made to SWARM until 30th April will go directly to this fund.
Some goverments are use the climate of emergency to try passing legislation that reduces the rights of trans people.
Other resources from the Pirate Care Syllabus
- Feminism, the Pandemic, and What Comes Next, Lucia Cavallero and Veronica Gago, 21 april 2020
- A crisis like no other: social reproduction and the regeneration of capitalist life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alessandra Mezzadri, Development Economics, 20th April 2020
- The Coronavirus Is a Disaster for Feminism Pandemics affect men and women differently.
- The Coronavirus Crisis and Decision of Commission on the Status of Women Exposes Structural Inequalities, by African Feminism
- Safeguarding women’s rights during Covid-19 shutdown, by Gender Links
- Don’t abandon us, LGBTQI refugees say, from the African Human Rights Media Network
- COVID-19: Women-led localised responses to the coronavirus pandemic. By ActionAid Australia, March 2020
Other resources and repositories
- L’emergenza di prendersi cura di noi: risorse online al tempo di Covid-19, by Chayn Italia (in ITA)
- In Focus: Gender equality matters in COVID-19 response A series of documents and resources prepared by UN Women addressing the pandemia from a gender perspective.
- COVID-19 Crisis from a feminist perspective: overview of different articles published
- Materiales para un confinamiento en clave de Economía Feminista (in ES)
- Feminist Resources on the Pandemic. By Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy
- Gender and Data Resources Related to COVID-1
- Gender and the COVID-19 pandemic. By XYOnline