COVID Canvases: Connecting Gender, Health and Justice

Sama's engagement with Covid-19, connecting gender, health and justice

We live in difficult times – the COVID-19 pandemic has pervaded our thoughts, words and work and poses new and old challenges.  We grapple with the struggles and  injustices unleashed and exacerbated by COVID-19.  The underpinning  structures of inequality are reinforced in this time of intersecting crisis as well as in the responses of our governments, public health and other institutions to them. 

The current pandemic has impacted the lives of everyone but certainly has been having a disproportionate impact on the lives of the marginalised – women, girls, daily labourers, sex workers, as well as persons with disability, transpersons and many others.

Most critically, the current situation has reminded us how our lives are interconnected.  Care, compassion and solidarity have probably never been more relevant than now when physical distancing, isolation and lock downs are the norms in many of the countries and regions. 

As countries witness and face this crisis in similar and yet varying ways, it is critical to inform, exchange and collectively reflect through sharing our knowledge resources, amplifying our voices, visibilising issues and fostering connections for support and resilience.

As a feminist health resource group, Sama’s work is located at the intersection of health, gender, justice and human rights, which frames the contours of our engagement on the issue of COVID-19. 

Sama’s work, and experience in the area of public health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender based violence as a public health issues, mental health, and access to medicines, has been particularly significant in interrogating and analyzing the vast canvas of COVID vis-a-vis these specific dimensions. 

Sama as a national resource group of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA), the Indian chapter of the People’s Health Movement (PHM), is actively involved with JSA in everyday advocacy efforts to inform policy, guidelines, protocols on health as well as other relevant economic, social and ethical issues around COVID -19. 

The primary objective of this section of our website is to coordinate exchange of information, to build understanding, analysis of gendered and social inequities for COVID-19 and responses to it in community, country and regional contexts.

जेंडर, यौन व प्रजनन स्वास्थ्य और अधिकार – कोवीड 19 महामारी, मुद्दे और चुनौतियाँ

चार दिवसीय ऑनलाइन प्रशिक्षण कार्यक्रम  – 13  से 16  सितम्बर 2021 समा पिछले कुछ वर्षों से  उत्तर प्रदेश और झारखण्ड में विभिन्न जिलों में  संस्थाओं /संगठनों के साथ मिलकर जेंडर दृष्टिकोण से यौन और प्रजनन स्वास्थ्य के अधिकारों के विभिन्न… Continue reading

2nd International Consultation on ‘The feminist response to living through & beyond the Covid-19 pandemic’

Sama recently conducted a two-day international consultation on Gender, Equity, and Access to COVID-19 Vaccines and Beyond on 23rd and 24th July 2021. Over the two days, 54 participants from 13 countries, mainly from Global South, shared with each other… Continue reading

Pregnancy and Covid vaccine trials: Gender justice compromised

On June 11, 2021, a pregnant woman approached the Delhi High Court seeking vaccination for pregnant women on a priority basis. The petitioner also sought directions to the Union government for setting up of separate vaccination centres for pregnant women who are at high risk, and the creation of a registry for monitoring their medical condition post vaccination (1). The case was a pivotal point in the history of Covid-19 vaccine rollouts in India, because it demanded a clear communication from the Union Government for vaccination of pregnant women… Continue reading

Covid-19 worsening the mental health crisis in India: A Primer

In December 2019, the first comprehensive study of the prevalence and disease burden due to all mental disorders for every state of India from 1990 to 2017 was published in the Lancet. It indicated that one in every seven people in India is affected by mental health problems and called for urgent systematic procedures for better diagnosis and management of mental disorders across the country. But, with the impact of the pandemic, we have every reason to believe that mental health only went on to be a more serious and ignored problem in the country. Continue reading