One of the ways in which the 2020 global COVID-19 crisis is affecting women and girls particularly heavily is through the alarming increase in gender-based violence (GBV). GBV in all its many forms increases during every type of emergency and the current health and economic crisis is no exception. The further pressure of lockdowns and movement restrictions associated with the pandemic response has seen domestic violence, in particular, surge in country after country. The situation is made worse by reduced availability and capacity of support services for survivors and those at risk of violence. Women in marginalised communities are especially vulnerable.
A severe lack of funding and inadequate planning continues to stand in the way of adequate response efforts to address the alarming increased risk of violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though 1 in 3 women experienced violence even before COVID-19’s spread, UNFPA projections indicate that for every three months lockdown measures continue, an additional 15 million cases of gender-based violence could be expected globally.
COVID-19 lockdown measures have also had a significant impact on 1.6 billion informal workers, with women over-represented in the most hard-hit sectors. The 2020 Global 16 Days Campaign will be amplifying voices of women workers in the informal economy while continuing to call for the ratification of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention 190 and to end all forms of GBV in private and public spaces and with a specific focus on informal workers in particular.
This 16 Days Campaign, the impact of COVID-19 has shown alarming rates of GBV globally, demanding the need for both awareness and action to end pandemic levels of GBV. But local activists are shining a light in the “Shadow pandemic” by finding creative solutions to providing protection and support to GBV survivors. Whether it is setting up hotlines in Jordan, using emojis to communicate in Ecuador, or putting contact information on hand sanitizers in Kenya, local activists working with CARE and partners are stepping up to fight GBV. Get inspired by activists who are making a difference in their communities and share their stories.
|Messages from GBV Activists from Benin Togo|
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, CARE International Secretary General, Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro outlines 5 critical steps governments and policy makers must take now to condemn gender-based violence to history.
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