ISLAMABAD - Child Rights Special Commit­tee of the National Par­liamentary Taskforce on SDGs and Parliamentar­ians Commission on Hu­man Rights (PCHR) on Thursday hosted a vir­tual roundtable meeting on “Impact of COVID-19 on Women and Children: Parliamentary Interven­tions” to discuss ongo­ing pandemic’s impact on vulnerable sections of the society. Chaired by MNA Shandana Gulzar, Convener Sub-Committee SDGs-5 (Gender Equality) and Chairperson Com­monwealth Women Par­liamentarians (CWP) and MNA Mehnaz Akber Aziz, Convener Special Com­mittee on Child Rights, the meeting discussed vi­olence and health issues of women and children, said a statement issued here. It was agreed that this pandemic had dis­rupted social life, finance and trade, education and learning, healthcare and much more, but the most vulnerable in this regard were women and chil­dren. The participants agreed that the rights of the most vulnerable had to be safeguarded in such a situation by staying in touch with relevant de­partments and ensuring that they (the children) came back to school when the situation improved. The participants were of the view that these were not only the children who were at risk due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but women and girls were also vulnerable in this situation. They agreed that there was increas­ing risk of gender-based violence as quarantine and social distancing may force many to remain in hostile environments at home. They concurred that with girls away from schools, there was a greater risk of their early marriages. That child and women protec­tion should be central in all post–COVID -19 planning. The civil society organisa­tions offered all kind of support to the government on issues related to chil­dren and women.