Violence Against Women on Rise
- 08 Apr 2020
- 4 min read
Why in News
Recently, UN-Women, women’s rights activists, government authorities, and civil society partners across the globe have said that domestic violence during the Covid-19 crisis has increased against women.
- The reports of violence have increased in countries like Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Cyprus, Singapore and Australia among others.
- In India, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has recorded a more than twofold rise in gender-based violence.
- It has been said that confinement due to Covid-19 is fostering the tension and strain created by security, health, and money is the reason behind this.
- This will have multiple impacts on women’s wellbeing, their sexual and reproductive health, their mental health, and their ability to participate and lead in the recovery of our societies, economy and difficulty in achieving Sustainable Development Goal -5 (SDG-5) -Gender equality.
Challenges in the wake Covid-19 Outbreak
- Even before Covid-19, domestic violence was already one of the greatest human rights violations.
- In 2019-20, 243 million women and girls (aged 15-49) across the world have been subjected to sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner.
- As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, the violence is likely to grow.
- Wide under-reporting of domestic and other forms of violence
- Less than 40% of women who experience violence seeking help of any sort or reporting the crime.
- Less than 10% of those women seeking help go to the police.
- The current circumstances (Covid-19 pandemic) make reporting even harder, including limitations on women’s and girls’ access to phones and helplines and disrupted public services like police, justice and social services.
- These disruptions is compromising the care and support that survivors need, like clinical management of rape, and mental health and psycho-social support.
- The disruptions also fuel impunity for the perpetrators.
- In many countries the law is not on the women's side. 1 in 4 countries have no laws specifically protecting women from domestic violence.
- The increase in violence against women should be dealt with urgently with measures embedded in economic support and stimulus packages that meet the gravity and scale of the challenge and reflect the needs of women who face multiple forms of discrimination.
- Grassroots and women’s organizations and communities need to be supported strongly in their current frontline role.
- Helplines, psychosocial support and online counselling should be boosted, using technology-based solutions such as SMS, online tools and networks to expand social support, and to reach women with no access to phones or internet.
- Police and justice services should mobilize to ensure that incidents of violence against women and girls are given high priority with no impunity for perpetrators.
- It is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
- It is a global champion for women and girls, it was established to accelerate progress on meeting the needs of women worldwide.