Browse by Theme: Gender Based Violence

Co-authored by Hester Le Roux and Siddikur Rahman

As the Generation Equality Forum kicks off in Mexico City this week, we pause to reflect on all the challenges women still face on the road to equality and equity – especially given wide recognition that the global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted women disproportionately, threatening to set back the gender equality agenda by years, if not decades.

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The Made by Women strategy seeks to ensure women in the garment industry have access to decent jobs, are free from violence and harassment and can give voice to their rights at work. Engaging with women, businesses, governments and civil society partners across the supply chain, this area of work focuses on addressing some of the most fundamental barriers to women accessing their rights in the garment industry. Learn more about Made by Women's impact to date in 2020 and our focus for the future. 

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“It makes both moral and business sense to be a leader in addressing the problem of gender-based violence and harassment.” These were the words of Scott Deitz, Founder of Convene Communication Strategies and former Vice-President at VF Corporation, as he opened the recent Learning Summit organized by CARE and Better Work.

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“I felt humiliated and could not focus on my work after I was harassed by my co-worker. I decided to report to the sexual harassment prevention committee because I trust them.” Pha*, a garment worker in Cambodia, is employed by a factory which has been working with CARE to improve how they respond to reports of workplace sexual harassment. We helped them build an environment where gender-based violence is not tolerated and women are more confident to report incidents of abuse.

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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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