By Ireen Kayira
Lilongwe, August 09, Mana: A report by ActionAid Malawi has revealed that women are the ones who have a huge burden as regards Covid 19.
The report dubbed who cares for the future: Finance Gender Responsive Public Services, was virtually launched on Thursday in Lilongwe.
The report has mainly stressed on government to finance and invest in gender responsive public services through public financing particularly in education and health.
Among other things the report said because these services are underfunded much of the burden of caring for the sick and for children at home from school in this period of COVID-19 has fallen on women.
“In many parts of the world, it is women and girls who face increased unpaid work in collecting water so that their households can wash their hands more regularly.
Women are also in majority in low paid jobs as nurses and care workers, facing the highest risk of exposure,” read the report.
The report said schools and child centres have been closed leaving children to be cared for 24 hours a day at home and this work is mostly falling on women.
“Hospitals and health centres have been unable to cope with the sudden surges in demand so many of those who fall sick are expected to stay in isolation at home and to be cared by mostly woman,” read the report
ActionAid Malawi Head of Program and Policy, Clement Banda said the burden is huge on women as such they are calling on government to invest more in gender responsive public services.
“If you look at the size of the national budget towards public services like health and education, we may have been meeting the Abuja declaration.
“Even after meeting that consistently, you will still notice that the need within the education sector is huge which calls for government to increase the size of the national budget as a whole,” he said.
He said where these public services are not provided for or not properly financed, there will be someone delivering and it is women and girls who take up the caring role.
Therefore he said this report gives a message that if public services are not properly financed somebody else who is a woman, is going to take up the burden .