5 minute Inspiration: How we can reduce violence during COVID-19

by 28th Apr 2020
A woman talks to a facilitator regarding gender based violence (GBV) services in Rwanda A woman talks to a facilitator regarding gender based violence (GBV) services in Rwanda

“We know that when emergencies hit, women and girls come last,” says CARE’s Humanitarian Policy Director, Susannah Friedman. CARE has been thinking about how COVID is going to impact gender based violence since early March, when we released the first Gender Implications of COVID report in mid-March.

In the last 6 weeks, we’ve come a long way. We’re not just thinking about the implications of COVID-19 for GBV; we’re taking steps to prevent it. CARE is working to prevent and respond to GBV during the COVID-19 pandemic in 24 countries around the world.

What are we doing?

Supporting women directly

In Ecuador, the team developed a virtual support mechanism for people stuck at home that provides orientation to prevent GBV, in addition to psychosocial support to persons with COVID-19. 5,000 people in Palestine and 4,217 people in Peru have received information about how to get help if they experience GBV.

Keeping attention on the issue

Honduras is using their existing advocacy and messaging platforms around domestic workers' rights, gender equality and social norms to include messaging on COVID-19 and GBV.

Helping local partners stay informed

Ecuador is hosting virtual events through Zoom, Facebook live and others for nearly 14,000 people, where they talk about GBV prevention, human mobility and labour rights in the context of COVID-19. Lebanon is sharing GBV referral and service information with local community organisations. Chad, Cuba, and Uganda are all sharing referral information with other NGOs in country.

Connecting health staff

Somalia has reached more than 10,000 people with GBV referral information, especially working through health centres. Ghana has been training staff, local authorities and partners in gender-responsive risk communication and community engagement with emphasis on personal protection, household preparedness, and GBV prevention. Bangladesh, Chad, and Peru are all working with health centre staff to make sure they can effectively respond to GBV.

How are we doing it?

Making sure our staff are prepared

CARE has created guidelines on GBV and COVID-19 to ensure we’re responding to GBV. 13 countries, including Georgia, Indonesia, Morocco, and Rwanda are sharing GBV referral information with staff.

Getting connected to community leaders

Six countries are working with community leaders to make sure that they have the GBV referral information they need to help respond to cases.

Using social media

Chad, Indonesia, Nepal, and Timor-Leste are all using social media platforms to share messages around GBV and where to get services and support for GBV.

Analysing the local context

CARE has not only released a global rapid gender analysis (RGA), we’re conducting more than 50 RGAs in different regions and countries to ensure we understand what GBV risks are in local contexts and how we can respond to them.

Getting better data

CARE is ensuring all our data is sex disaggregated so we can see the impacts for men and women.

Keeping women at the forefront

CARE is asking women in communities to lead and tell us what they need to respond. Mali is asking women who lead savings groups to help coordinate response. The Middle East and North Africa region is looking to find specific ways to communicate with women, who are finding that the ways they usually get information from each other don’t work with social distancing. CARE is pushing to get women a seat at the table when leaders make decisions about COVID-19.

Want to learn more?

Read the GBV guidance, check out the global Rapid Gender Analysis, and stay informed about what we’re learning in dozens of countries.

Emily Janoch

Emily Janoch is Senior Technical Advisor on Knowledge Management for the CARE USA Food and Nutrition Security team focusing on ways to better learn from and share practical experience on eradicating poverty through empowering women and girls. She focuses on learning from programming and using that learning to improve impact.

With four years of on-the-ground experience in West Africa, 10 years of development experience, and academic publications on community engagement and the human element in food security in Africa, Emily is especially interested in community-led development. She has experience in food security, nutrition, health, governance, and gender programming, and has a BA in International Studies from the University of Chicago, and a Masters' in Public Policy in International and Global Affairs from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Email: ejanoch@care.org