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18.02.2021 Feature Article

Covid-19: A perspective on Women and Children in Ghana

Covid-19: A perspective on Women and Children in Ghana
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For some months now, I have come to terms with how this pandemic is destabilizing most of the developed and developing countries especially their economic, social institutions and geographical space. Most of the time, as the pandemic emerged, people were able to navigate their ways through to mitigate the spread by their unlimited freedom. However, as I have mostly observed, women and children are the most vulnerable groups since they are the recipients of the least resources required to meet their basic needs (such as, food, clothing and shelter), thereby making them most exposed to the pandemic as well as its adverse effects. I took a cursory observation in one of most recognized markets in the capital of Accra and look, traders, mostly women and children, were found hawking to and fro to find their means for survival. An upsurge in the cases as in the scenario of Ghana has ignited my conscience to ink down how this pandemic is affecting the minority especially women and children and apply the “Marxism principle” to find an alternative solution that will best fit within the context of Ghana in an attempt to reduce the alarming rate of the virus transmission as well as enhancing the vulnerable population develop resilient strategies against the pandemic.

Although the pandemic has caused a great disservice to the country’s economy and social institutions, the pandemic is not declining anytime soon and continue to heighten the its burden on women and children at the expense of the ignorance of the very people who implement the system to cater for the social welfare. Drawing from inferences, good work has been done by most states to enable their countries survive this incident in the history of man’s creation, but I must say it is not enough from the perspective of the developing country like Ghana to allow people, especially the few, who possess unlimited freedom to use the pandemic as a yardstick to cause more harm and danger to the minorities (women and children) in the society (e.g., the traders in the markets in the capital of Accra).

Socially, the pandemic couldn’t end for people to get back on track with their socialization and interactions within the social system. The reason why women and children are disadvantaged in relation to their counterparts is because the structures in which they ply their trade and activities are breeding grounds for them to get in contact with the virus via their interaction and place of duties. Another point is that due to the precarious nature of their work, they are constrained with time required to make up for themselves, a balanced or a healthy diet which scientists have approved to prevent the spread of the virus. Again, the minorities in the country have unequal opportunities and resources to cater for their immediate needs and thus more exposed to these certainties we are being faced now. How many women and children go out to shop, entertain, or work? How many women represent the majority in the system? Just a few, I guess, but more importantly the minority will be infested with the virus in varying degrees than the majority.

Drawing on the principle of Marxism Political Economy where there is the production and distribution of goods and services to meet human needs, where the state institute the force of coercion and socialization as a mean of control, I think it is about time the State ‘struck the last straw on the camel’s back’ to deter people especially the majority from multiplying the figures to incite fear and panic.

These figures are not mere abstraction but real to the mind to cognize them. Also, the government must exercise stringent law enforcement mechanisms to punish offenders who go contrary to the directives of the state because we have had enough of “unlimited liberty”. The state should cherish the lives of the minority over the markets (Demand & Supply) because the declining human resources can lead to a resource curse in the forthcoming years. Regarding policy to address the alarming rate of the pandemic, the state should prioritize science to enhance its ability of develop alternative and less affordable medicines for its people. Ultimately, the state should compensate workers (women) and small businesses; restitution of monies should be extended to large corporations.

To end, the inability of the individuals’ freedom to compete, be creative and innovative to create the conducive environment for all, should be the responsibility of the state to intervene since we have had enough of individuals abusing their unlimited freedom at the verge of this pandemic! Given that this is not about system or ideological failure, but the indiscipline of the rent seekers, that the law protects in the country.

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