Call for Papers - Special Issue 2021

Academic Response to Covid-19

Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies: Alam-e-Niswan

Call for Abstracts

Special Issue - COVID-19: Changing Lives of Women and Girls in South Asia

Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies: Alam-e-Niswan invites submissions for its 2021 Special Issue (vol. 28, no. 2, December 2021) on the theme of COVID-19: Changing the Lives of Women and Girls in South Asia. This issue aims to critically interrogate how the COVID-19 crisis has changed the lives of women and girls now and for years to come in the South Asian region: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In addition to the presentation of the most recent data of COVID-19, this Special Issue aims to establish regional dialogues on key areas affected by this pandemic in women’s everyday lives, with the purpose of providing opportunities to generate new and evidence-based knowledge and partnership through shared experiences for a better future.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents critically enormous social and economic challenges for the vast number of women and girls and their families that need to be researched and answered in the context of their geographical, political and social settings. South Asian countries which are historically class-caste-based and hierarchical in their formation, with low priority for women and girls, are experiencing the pandemic in its worst form by creating further threats for women and girls in quite different ways. The inefficient health-care system of South Asia has been further impacted negatively due to the pandemic.

In addition to providing a trusted platform for an on-going cross-disciplinary dialogue and knowledge-sharing on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, this Special Issue would also attempt to seek solutions to the problems caused by the spread of Coronavirus, such as:

  • Deaths/disabilities of family’s bread earners
  • Loss of jobs and daily wages
  • Acute poverty
  • Rise in domestic violence
  • Women and girls’ exploitation
  • Increase in women’s household workload
  • Impact of mothers’ illness/death on children

To explore, examine, and document these challenges and threats, we welcome original, scholarly rights-based research articles, employing quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research using primary data, secondary data, analytical reviews, and interdisciplinary reflections. Our aim is to reinforce links that integrate and bring closer researchers and activists in their endeavour to combat this epidemic and to provide a trusted platform for encouraging on-going dialogue and disseminating and sharing new knowledge on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, covering all aspects of its association with women’s lives. We anticipate that papers published in this Special Issue would lead to further investigations and researches and would also provide fresh reading material for academic courses in Women and Gender Studies disciplines across South Asia and elsewhere.

Scope of Papers
We welcome abstracts of papers addressing the following potential topics and questions, among others:

  • How has COVID-19 changed the everyday life of women and girls of South Asia?
  • How has COVID-19 worsened the already existing gaps in access to health and education for women and girls in this region?
  • How has COVID-19 affected the unequal work burden of women’s domestic chores?
  • In what ways have unemployment, reduction in daily wages, and prolonged presence of males in the houses led to an increase in exploitation and violence against women and girls?
  • How has COVID-19 created new challenges and new inequalities for women and girls?
  • In what ways has COVID-19 affected sexual and reproductive health and rights during the pandemic?
  • What are the experiences of working women in the home during lockdowns in the context of their relationships with their families?
  • In what ways have lockdowns and working from home transformed family dynamics in terms of psychological and emotional impacts?
  • How has COVID-19 affected in-land migrant women workers, daily wage earners and sex workers?
  • Has any relief strategy emerged for women garment workers and workers in the EPZs in South Asia?
  • Have any visible and practical steps been taken to provide running water, sanitary facilities, and removal of garbage from urban slums?
  • How have emerging issues of governance at local and national levels during the COVID-19 pandemic affected women and girls?
  • In what ways have COVID-19 and emerging restrictions on international travel and cancellation of work-visas impacted women and girls?
  • What are new ways of collaboration among governments and international organizations, and among grassroots movements and local communities, with a focus on gender and women?
  • What has been the role of women’s organisations, non-profit bodies and elected political representatives in addressing COVID-19 related gender issues?
  • What has been the role of social media in identifying challenges faced by women and girls?
  • What has been the role of religious leadership in educating people about social behaviours during the pandemic?
  • What has been the role of educational institutions, academia in general, medical colleges and centres for Gender Studies/Development Studies in providing information to limit the spread of COVID-19?
  • How have women, especially in the health sectors, at the policymaking levels, and in the informal economy, addressed the challenges caused by COVID-19?
  • Personal narratives of women and girls affected by the pandemic.

Please note that these topics are intended as suggestions and not limitations.

Authors are invited to submit brief abstracts (approximately 250-400 words) outlining their proposed submissions.

Submission process and papers must adhere to the normal author guidelines of PJWS which can be found at
Abstracts should be emailed as attachments to and be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Submissions should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Abstracts of papers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka can also be submitted to the Focal Persons of the respected countries. Name of the Focal Person for the Maldives would be announced soon.

Focal Persons

Bangladesh: Dr. Nazmunnessa Mahtab

Bhutan: Professor Kunzang Lhamu

India: Dr. Rekha Pande

The Maldives To be announced later

Nepal: Dr. Bimala Rai Puadyal

Pakistan: Dr. Sara Rizvi Jafree

Sri Lanka: Dr. D.V.N. Harischandra


  • Deadline for Abstract Submission: 28 February 2021
  • Our Editorial Board, including the Focal Persons, will review abstracts and will make the
    final selections. Announcement of the final selection of Abstracts: March 15, 2021.
  • Full manuscripts will be submitted by 30 April 2021. All manuscripts will be expected to
    adhere to the formatting guidelines of the Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies: Alam-eNiswan.
  • Deadline for the final version of manuscript: 15 June 2021
  • Following review, draft papers will be returned to authors as we receive them
  • Deadline for final draft, following the reviews- 15 October 2021
  • We anticipate that the final special issue will contain approximately 18 papers.
  • Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies: Alam-e-Niswan is an on-line, open-access, peerreviewed feminist journal that provides a forum for scholars, activists, and students to explore the relationships among theories of gender and sexuality and various forms of
    organizing and critical practice.

For any queries please contact the Editor of the Special Issue:
Dr. Shehla A Khan:

Deadline Schedule

  1. Abstract Submission- 28 February 2021
  2. Selection of Abstracts - 15 March 2021
  3. Submission of Full paper- 15 June 2021
  4. Deadline for Final Paper, following the reviews- 15 October 2021