Sunday, April 5, 2020
The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue on Sunday issued a policy paper on “Protecting women and reducing the effects of the COVID-19 virus epidemic on the Egyptian family,” the paper said, referring to the need for the state to review punitive policies on dealing with prisoners and the possibility of releasing Female prisoners over the age of 60. Or those with chronic diseases or critical medical history such as diabetes, vascular diseases, respiratory diseases, pregnant women and women who are incubators for their children in prison, making them among the most at risk groups, and women who are the victims and whose presence in prisons is the responsibility of the State as a result of their inability to provide for their basic needs and those of their families.
The paper called for the private sector to adhere to the Prime Minister’s decision to grant pregnant female employees, workers or those caring for a child under the age of 12 leave, provided that the exceptional leave granted under this decision is paid, and is not counted within the legally prescribed leave or affects any of the employee’s financial entitlements.
Ensuring that all women, especially pregnant women, have access to clean and safe reproductive health services, ensure that these needs are met in health facilities and by specialists, and that pregnant women with respiratory diseases should be given top priority in treatment because of their increased risk of adverse side effects, with the separation of prenatal and neonatal and maternal health units from other health units containing new Corona virus cases, with the importance of providing psychological support to women. affected by gender-based violence, as well as health workers in general.
The paper noted the importance of providing psychological support services to families, and how to deal with the stresses arising from staying at home, promoting innovative ways and methods of spending time, and promoting family cohesion.
The paper called for a number of recommendations to protect women and families during the period of precautionary measures imposed to fight the virus:
- Stop collecting insurance, taxes, electricity, water and gas bills from poor women-headed families and exempt their children from any education expenses, both basic and university.
- Cash aid, financial and morale assistance to women who head their families, divorced, separated and indebted, supporting families and making them aware of how to care for older women, the elderly and chronically ill patients, meet their special needs, and raise their morale.
- Encourage men to share family responsibilities to cope with the heavy burdens that women and girls carry out in caring for family members.
- Supporting female workers and health workers from doctors and nurses, support service providers and midwives, both physically and psychologically, and building their capacity to deal with cases of domestic violence in particular, patients and people living with Corona virus.
- Providing guidance on prevention of Corona for all groups of society, especially in remote and remote areas, using all media including radio, television stations and social media and providing guidance in languages for people with disabilities.
- Ensuring that domestic and day-to-day agricultural workers receive their salaries, protecting domestic and agricultural workers daily in such circumstances so that their work is within the criteria of decent work conditions, and ensuring that working conditions provide them with protection and prevention of Corona infection.
- Supporting social housing beneficiaries in paying their premiums and supporting those most vulnerable to the crisis are women who rent new rents.
- Coordinating work among civil society institutions to provide an integrated protection umbrella for groups affected by women living due to the epidemic and to develop a map and database of beneficiaries to ensure that support reaches those who are eligible.