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With lockdown, gender violence is a “shadow pandemic”: UN Women

Curbing gender violence must be part of action plan on COVID-19, it says

The UN Women has urged member-States to include prevention of violence against women in their action plans on COVID-19 and consider shelters and helplines essential services, calling the rise in gender-based violence a “shadow pandemic”.

“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 must mobilise to ensure that incidents of violence against women and girls are given high priority with no impunity for perpetrators,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the UN Women, appealed to various countries in a press statement issued late evening on Monday.

According to UN Women, globally 243 million women and girls aged 15-49 have been subjected to sexual and/or physical violence perpetrated by an intimate partner in the previous 12 month. “The number is likely to increase as security, health and money worries heighten tensions and strains are accentuated by cramped and confined living conditions.” It says according to emerging data, violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has ‘intensified’.

As per data compiled by the U.N. body, France has seen a 30% increase in domestic violence since the lockdown on March 17. In Argentina, emergency calls for domestic violence cases have increased by 25% since the lockdown on March 20 and Cyprus (30%), Singapore (33%) have also registered an increase in calls. Canada, Germany, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. have also registered an increase in cases of domestic violence and demand for emergency shelter.

In an earlier message, U.N. Chief Antonio Gueterres appealed for a ‘ceasefire’ on domestic violence after “a horrifying global surge in domestic violence”.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 10:13:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/with-lockdown-gender-violence-is-a-shadow-pandemic-un-women/article31282619.ece

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