Women in developing countries have faced more anxiety and food insecurity during lockdown
According to researchers, including those of Indian origin, women in developing countries like India have faced increased rates of depression and anxiety as well as food insecurity during the Covid-induced lockdown. -19.
For the women surveyed, going from zero to medium levels of confinement is associated with a 38% increase in depression, a 44% increase in anxiety and a 73% increase in exhaustion, according to the study by the School of Global at the University of California, San Diego. Policy and strategy.
“Women whose social position may make them more vulnerable — those with daughters and those living in female-headed households — experienced even greater declines in mental health as a result of lockdowns,” said article, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Economic Development.
At least 1,545 households were interviewed by telephone in various rural areas of northern India. The surveys took place in the fall of 2019, before the pandemic and in August 2020, near the peak of the first wave of Covid-19 in India.
Some villages and districts had varying lockdown policies, which allowed researchers to compare the health outcomes of women who experienced lockdowns for several months with those who experienced no level of lockdown.
The authors considered many factors in their analysis, including Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the novel coronavirus.
“Lack of access to work and socializing outside the home can be very detrimental to the mental health of women in developing countries,” said study co-author Gaurav Khanna, assistant professor of economics at the School of Global Policy and Strategy.
The pandemic has resulted in dramatic income losses for women. In the survey, about 25% of households reduced the number of meals consumed compared to a normal month. However, these declines have primarily affected women because in many cultures in the developing world, women’s food intake is the first to be limited when food is scarce, Khanna added.
“As we found in our study, the consequences of lockdown policies are exacerbated for women. We hope that policymakers in developing countries and beyond know what the implications of these policies are, especially for people in vulnerable positions, because if there is another wave, communities could face similar blockages. .