COVID-19 and the Pakhtun pregnant women

Published date11 March 2022
Date11 March 2022
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Aggression,conflict & peace,Sociology,Gender studies,Gender violence,Political sociology,policy & social change,Social conflicts,War/peace
AuthorFarah Naz
COVID-19 and the Pakhtun
pregnant women
Farah Naz
Purpose This exploratory study aims to explore the Pakhtun pregnant women’s experiences/issues
during theCOVID-19 pandemic.
Design/methodology/approach This researchis based on interviews.
Findings This research found that plummetingmedical services pose not only serious health risks to
the Pakhtun women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) but expose them to social and cultural challenges
resulting in severe mental health issues. This study also found that the policies adopted by the
Government of Pakistanfor tackling COVID-19 completely threw off track basic health servicesthat both
men and womenrequire in times of health emergencies.
Originality/value This paperis 100% original research based on an exploratorystudy.
Keywords Society, Gynecologist, Health, Women, COVID-19,Pakhtun, Pakistan
Paper type Research paper
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the emotional distress resulting in the confusion
pertaining to behaviors in both the personaland social domains. There is also an increase in
domestic and family violence against women and girls, female health-care workers, rape,
abuse and sexual harassment both at public and online spaces (UNODC, 2020). The
Women’s Safety NSW report suggeststhat in New South Wales, Australia, more than 40% of
frontline respondents experienced an increase in domestic and family violence during the
lockdown phase. Here, the challengeis not dealing with sexual abuse or domestic violence
itself but a situation where the victim is required to remain in lockdown with abusers
(Duncan, 2020). Although COVID-19 is not the only precursor to divorce, but extended
quarantine and lockdown is a significant factor in divorce and breakup/separation, because
when couples spend more time being trapped at home, they expose themselves to an
increased conflict and arguments. Thus, a record-high number of couples are filing for
divorce in China, the USA, Australia, the UK and Europeamid the pandemic (Tocci, 2020).
The increase in adverse health and well-being outcomes for women during COVID-19
should be seen in the context where women, in general, appear to be more vulnerable
because of their compromised social position. Against this background, COVID-19 left
unprecedented and tormented effects on women’s health and social well-being. The
lockdown may affect and have long-term negative impacts on women differently across the
world (Burki, 2020).
With only the first wave, considerable research is already underway to assess the impact of
COVID-19 on women’s health and well-being, especially of pregnant women. This is
because pregnant women are more likely to be admitted in hospitals for intensive care as
compared with nonpregnant women (Morbidityand Mortality weekly report, Extend Fertility,
2020). Several debates are focused on whether to extend family during the coronavirus
Farah Naz is based at
Department of Government
and Public Policy, National
University of Sciences and
Technology, Islamabad,
Received 4 January 2022
Revised 10 February 2022
Accepted 10 February 2022
The author is extremely grateful
to Professor Salma Siddiqui,
who read the entire manuscript
and made very useful
comments on the initial draft of
this paper, which certainly
improved the quality of the
paper. The author is highly
indebted to her. However, any
errors or omissions are the sole
responsibility of the author.
DOI 10.1108/JACPR-01-2022-0662 VOL. 15 NO. 1 2023, pp. 1-12, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599 jJOURNAL OF AGGRESSION, CONFLICT AND PEACE RESEARCH jPAGE 1

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