During the pandemic, women and girls who were already socially and economically disadvantaged were further debilitated.

Reports in the last two years show a steep increase in cases of domestic violence, disruption in education, loss of jobs, forced marriage, cyber violence, and trafficking of women and girls. 

Oxfam India has been working all through the pandemic to repair some of these fault lines via education and livelihood missions with its upcoming and biggest fundraising initiatives Oxfam Virtual Trailwalker Challenge.

The challenge also highlights the work civil society organizations have been doing to positively help and uplift marginal, and weaker sections of the society during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenge lets participants choose to walk a distance of 100 KM, 50 KM, or 25 KM over a span of 10 days.

The Oxfam Trailwalker activity in addition to all other programmes has helped and proved to be invaluable in mobilizing resources to work towards gender and economic equality.

In 2021 alone, over 3,600 inspired walkers virtually walked in solidarity with the communities bearing the worst brunt of the pandemic and helped Oxfam in its efforts to strengthen the public healthcare system. 

The organisation has also been working with over 31,000 ASHA workers across the country to provide them with appropriate COVID-19 training, media kits, and knowledge.

In addition to these initiatives, in Lakhimpur Kheri, their work has supported local women farmers to challenge gender bias through innovative farming practices – by teaching them organic farming and helping them gain rightful recognition as farmers.

Oxfam India also trained women from Borbhatta village in Kalahandi on mushroom cultivation that allowed them to generate extra income, practice sustainable development as well as addressed the problem of rural poverty among women.

Also read: A Virtual Fitness Challenge to bridge gender inequalities

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