Browse by Theme: Gender Based Violence

CARE and others have written about the increase of gender-based violence (GBV) in COVID-19, and how that has incredibly damaging impacts around the world. One of the successes of the COVID-19 response globally has been the attention global actors – up to and including the Secretary General of the United Nations – are paying to the “shadow pandemic” instead of allowing it to pass in silence, overshadowed by other facets of crisis.

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Violence against women and girls or gender-based violence (GBV), whether it takes place in the home, in the workplace, in public spaces, schools or communities is one of the most widespread human rights abuses around the world. On average, 1 in 3 women globally experiences physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from an intimate partner. In addition to devastating impacts on the dignity, security and wellbeing of survivors, violence against women also has broad social and economic costs across societies, including costs on public services, lost income and productivity.

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On August 4 2020, the devastating Beirut explosion shook the whole city to its core, taking the lives of 191 persons (120 males, 58 females, and 13 unspecified), wounding at least 6,500, and leaving 300,000 people displaced. The impact of the explosion compounded with the worst economic crisis in the history of Lebanon and the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to significantly push back what gains have been made on gender equality in the country. This report assesses how diverse women, men, girls, boys, and gender minorities were affected, with a close look at the specific impact on older, disabled, refugee, migrant, and LBQT (lesbian, bisexual, queer, and trans) women.

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On 17 March 2020, the Jordanian government introduced measures to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Jordan. Under such measures, Jordanians were only able to leave their homes between 8.00am and 6.00pm. Every day at 6.00pm, a curfew siren would be sounded, after which point no one was permitted to leave their property. The punishments for breaking such measures were severe as the Jordanian government imposed one of the strictest nationwide lockdowns in the world, with lawbreakers facing arrest and up to a year in prison.

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Child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM) happens in nearly every country on the planet and has devastating consequences, especially for young girls. These types of marriages are often followed quickly by pregnancy, which carries huge risks, as the adolescent girls most affected by CEFM are not mentally or physically mature enough to carry a child and give birth. Still, most married girls are expected to get pregnant as soon as possible. Why the rush? And why do some couples choose to defy expectations and postpone having their first child?

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Governments, NGOs, and society at large must work towards the end of child marriage, but it is also critical to recognise the power of girls to lead the way to end this practice in their own communities. UNFPA estimates that 13 million more child marriages could take place by 2030 than would have prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, programmes that work to end child marriage are unable to operate due to shelter-in-place directives. However, girl activists, within their own communities, are able to subversively challenge the norms and attitudes that put them at risk for child marriage.

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The COVID-19 crisis is disproportionately affecting women and girls. This makes it all the more important that their voices are equally included in the decision-making spaces and processes where responses are formed. CARE’s research has found that where women do have higher levels of leadership, governments are more likely to be responding to the crisis in a way that supports gender equality. Women’s participation is necessary at every level and in every arena, from national crisis committees to the local communities on the frontlines of humanitarian responses.

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