The aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic has been mostly obstreperous. By the start of march 2021, there have been 117 million cases recorded, with almost 2.59 million deaths worldwide. While the lockdown enforced by the states, through their indigenous national government to curb the rapid proliferation of the virus has stunted the supply chains, halted agricultural undertaking, and slow-downed the economic activity, it has also severely impacted marginalized sections of the society, especially the women. A policy brief published by the United Nations (UN), on the impact of the COVID-19 over women states that the evidence suggests that female economic activity will have a more significant inverse effect than men.
Worldwide, women earn less, hold less secure jobs, and are more likely to be employed in the informal sector. About 740 million women globally work in the informal economy. Moreover, women have a reduced admittance towards the social safety nets. Hence, their adeptness to comprehend the economic shocks is low than that of men, making them more exposed and less resilient. Pandemic has worsened, the already grieved situation further for women; the articles sheds some light on the gendered impacts of COVID-19 on women.
Technology has singlehandedly proved as an efficient catalyst in transforming society. Access to information is one of the fundamental aspects of the liberal democratic system; it is the initial step towards empowerment. During the present pandemic, human motility has been cramped. Simultaneously, it has enhanced the reliability of digital platforms, it has become essential to be connected. Moreover, this pandemic has illustrated that technology is a medium for entertainment and an efficient communication and development platform.
As per the Global System for Mobile Communication Association’s (GSMA) Mobile Gender Gap Report released in 2020, the technology gender gap is substantial and recurring. It disclosed that in Bangladesh, 25% of women are less likely than men in accessing mobile phones. A similar picture in India and Sri Lanka stands at 20% and 7% respectively. Among the population with access to phones, 17% of women in Bangladesh are less likely than men to access the internet on the phone. This goes up to 50% in India, 40% in Sri Lanka. In Pakistan, 81% of the men and 50% of the women have mobile phones, yet out of those only 19% percent women have internet access, with an accumulative gender gap of 49% in internet usage. The report reflects society’s general tendency to alienate women from accessing technology, in this case, mere mobile phones.