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ICS Occasional Papers

The Masked Gendered Profile of the World Exposed During the Covid-19 Era: Comparing China and India

The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact bear a critical turning point in the history of humankind, demanding a retrospect on preparedness, a relook on reality and a reset of worldview. It came to be realised that epidemics tend to put pressure on societies, which in turn exposes otherwise hidden patterns and ends up revealing what really matters to a population. One of the most stirring revelations was how half the population of the world is disproportionately bearing the burden of the Covid-19 crisis, reiterating the fact that whether its a natural calamity, war, financial crisis, or a pandemic followed by a lockdown, women are disproportionately impacted therefore they have to bear the brunt of changes. This paper locates its argument in women's social role and secondary economic status to look at why women are unfairly effected by crisis. It explores how the pandemic and the lockdown has affected women in particular, both in China and India, drawing some parallels and differences. For doing this it divides the factors which led to the gendered impact of crisis into three dimensions: Gendered participation - Women's direct participation in the fight against Covid-19, Gendered impact - medical, social and economic impact of the pandemic and lockdown on women and Gender stereotypes - pandemic and lockdown resulting in reinforcement of gender stereotypes.

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