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Impact of COVID-19 on Rural SHG Women in Odisha

March, 2019

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns to curb the virus have had far-reaching impacts globally. The situation in India has been particularly difficult, with the country recording over 8.9 million cases as of November 2020. The nation-wide lockdown announced on 24 March 2020 had devastating effects on millions of people, their livelihoods and income generating activities. Given the scale of the crisis, it becomes imperative to focus on the impacts on already disadvantaged groups, and more specifically, on women and girls. Experiences from past disease outbreaks globally, demonstrate the need for a gendered analysis for preparedness and response.

This report presents findings from the study, ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Rural SHG Women in Odisha’, conducted by the Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE) and Project Concern International (PCI). The main objectives of this study were to (i) study the overall impacts on women’s well-being during and post the lockdown period, and (ii) understand SHG participation in COVID-19 response activities. Overall, the study demonstrates that rural women in Odisha have had to contend with rising stress and anxiety, loss of income, and an increased load of household work. Concomitantly, the SHG movement has proved to be an immense source of strength and support for women. The report concludes with a set of recommendations to strengthen the SHG platforms and state- run gender initiatives, and to invest in digital tools as these have proved to be a means through which women have kept in touch with family and friends in difficult times.

Resource Type Report

Partner Organisation NRLM, PCI

Topics NRLM, Self-Help Groups, digitial solutions, haqdarshak, women’s collectives

Authors Kaliat Ammu Sanyal, Sushmita Mukherjee, Prasann Thatte, Biraj Laxmi Sarangi