THE IMPACT OF COVID19 ON LBQ WOMEN
Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer women are some of the groups of people that were most affected by the COVID19 pandemic. According to the UNs framework for immediate social-economic response to the COVID19 crisis, the COVID19 pandemic is far more than a health crisis. It is affecting societies and economies at their core. The implications of this meant that the already volatile lives that the LBQ women were living were affected further.
Limited relief support extended to LBQ women, especially during the total lockdown.
Increased homophobia due to the fact that a section of society believes the outbreak of the coronavirus is a punishment from God because of some of the actions of “sinners” like the LBQ women. As a result, many of these women have found themselves confined in hostile environments within their localities.
There has been an increase in domestic violence amongst LBQ women and this can be attributed to many factors such as loss of livelihoods that have resulted in some of the women lashing out their frustration on their partners.
Limited access to legal aid. Legal officers experienced difficulty, especially at the beginning of the lockdown, in reaching clients who needed their services such as, mediation, bond and bail preparation, and representation in court. Similarly, clients also experience difficulties reaching legal officers because of transport and communication hitches.
Access to work and livelihood. Many of the LBQ women lost their jobs due to the downsizing policies of their workplaces, secondly, statistics indicate that the biggest percentage of temporary and casual job holders are women. When the pandemic hit, casual and temporary job workers were t e first to lose their livelihoods.
Access to healthcare services has dwindled due to the fact that priority is given to the prevention and containment of COVID-19 pandemic. ARVs, Prep, PEP, condoms, maternal care among others, have become increasingly difficult to access as the pandemic continues on.
Despite the challenges brought by COVID19, FARUG pledges to continue supporting LBQ women through our drop-in center and legal aid clinic (legal support, counseling, and healthcare) for more information, call/WhatsApp (0393239012)