The average monthly income of around 95% young women has dropped by 29% due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Their average income was Tk6,273 before the pandemic. It fell to Tk4,745 after the pandemic started and, keeping the downtrend, stood at Tk4,408 in September, according to a study by ActionAid Bangladesh.
The decrease in women's income is causing gender-based violence and psychological problems among them.
ActionAid Bangladesh disclosed the findings of the study at a virtual program titled "Impact of Covid-19 in the Life of Young Women for Advocacy and Policy Intervention in a Post-Covid World" on Tuesday.
The survey was conducted among 550 young women, aged between 18 to 35 years, in 10 districts – Dhaka, Chattogram, Kushtia, Nilphamari, Bagerhat, Satkhira, Jamalpur, Dinajpur, Naogaon, and Kurigram.
The study report said among the respondents, 74% needed immediate food support, while 48% needed a source of income.
According to the study, 79% respondents said although their income dropped, their domestic workload has increased significantly.
The survey also found that almost 65% women now have to borrow money to manage their daily expenditure.
Along with daily expenditures, health-related expenditure has also increased, said around 37% respondents.
Moreover, 67.27% respondents said their access to public services has been affected by the pandemic and 61% women called for cheaper and more accessible healthcare services.
Another alarming finding of the survey is that 76.54% of girl and women living in remote areas became unable to continue their studies since April this year.
Meanwhile, 35.27% women got no support from local people or law enforcers when they were subjected to violence, found out the researchers.
Attending the event as chief guest, Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, director general of Department of Youth Development, said his office has been working with young men and women aged 18-35.
He said, "We have been facing obstacles since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country in March this year. After a closure of about one and a half months, we resumed offline and online training activities on a limited scale in compliance with the health regulations."
Referring to ActionAid's study, he further said the path of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be easier if the non-government organisations, media and civil society cooperate with the government by conducting such surveys and research activities.
Nazmul Ahsan, a manager of ActionAid Bangladesh, said, Covid-19 has created a crisis for all, especially the youth and women.
"We fear that many women will not be able to return to work easily. Measures need to be taken to reintegrate women to the mainstream of economy," he said urging the policy makers.