News Digest (September 10-16, 2020)


Gender & Social Inclusion (Human Rights & Migration)

Mental Health impinged amidst pandemic: The nation-wide lockdown has severely impacted the patients receiving treatment for mental illness. Particularly, patients from small towns are having problem seeking treatment, having therapy sessions, and accessing medications. Medicines for mental illness are not easily available in the medical stores without the prescription of the doctors. Medication interruption could worsen the patient’s mental condition resulting in psychotic, manic or extremely depressed state. This puts the patients in a high risk of committing suicide.[1]

Reproductive health being compromised in COVID-Crisis: With 200 percent increase in maternal mortality rate as reported in May, it is apparent that gains made in reproductive health has gone down because of the enforcement of the lockdown since March. 85 pregnant women have lost their lives due to non-institutional childbirth, unable to access hospital timely, COVID-19 induced anxiety and complications during delivery, especially in rural areas. Lack of prenatal and postnatal care has also led to hike in number of maternal mortality and has also caused infant mortality. Besides, women are deprived of access to family planning services and other aspects of reproductive health.[2]

Increasing number of repartriation flight: The preparation to allow operation of extra flights from the countries that have started international flights on regular basis is going on. The government has done away with the limit of 8000 passenger a day as decided earlier. Airline companies will be permited to operate extra flights, provided they accede to only bringing passengers with negative PCR test reports. Priority will be given to companies willing to send its workers back bearing entire cost. The cost of those who need to be resecured will be borne by the Labour Welfare Fund. The Ministry of labour in cooperation with diplomatic missions in the respective countries will make the necessary arrangement including flights for their homecoming.[3]

Women still far from accessing formal jobs: As per the World Bank’s report, despite the progressing structural variation, the number of women holding formal jobs remain insignificant. The report states that merely 3.6% of women have formal jobs in comparison with 12.3% men. Gendered social constructs have confined women’s labor flexibility and job opportunities and resort to unpaid domestic work.[4]

Recommendations of NHRC remain dormant: Since the inception of National Human Rights Commission, 1059 recommendations were made to the government to confer compensation and relief to victims and retribution to the offenders. NHRC also made 19 policies and 58 case-based recommendations, encompassing emdorsement of international human rights intruments. Nevertheless, the government has only executed 10% of the total recommendations completely, 40% partly executed and remaining 50W% still left to be executed.[5]

Dr KC’s hunger striker yet again: On September 14, Dr Govida KC began his 19th round of hunger stike in Karnali province and has put forth six demands before the government. His demands include the government to widen the scope of PCR tests for COVID-19, to add MBBS as a course at Karnali Academy of Health Science, to lift lockdown and restrictions alongside mandate physical distancing, and use of masks for everyone. Similarly, he has demanded probing into corruption cases, especially in relation to the health sectors and make necessary move against them.[6]







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.