Gender based violence: the shadow pandemic

Gender based violence: the shadow pandemic

Dr Natalia Kanem from UNFPA explains how and why violence against women has increased during COVID-19.

The global pandemic has caused a second crisis, a shadow pandemic, that is threatening the lives of women and girls worldwide.

According to analysis by UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, for every six months of COVID-19 lockdowns, an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence could occur.

Lockdowns mean that women are more likely to be trapped in their homes with their abusers. And with limitations on services during the pandemic, it can be more difficult for them to access the support they need.

UNFPA Executive Director, Dr Natalia Kanem, spoke to Verified about the crisis, and what steps are being taken by organisations worldwide to try to mitigate the dangers that women and girls face right now.

UNFPA data shows that women represent approximately 70 per cent of the global health-care and social services workforce.

As women around the world risk their lives on the frontlines of the pandemic, Dr Kanem’s words are an important reminder of the deep inequalities that mean that millions of women are in danger every day.