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U.N. Surveys Counsel Violence Towards Girls Has Intensified in Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has made ladies really feel extra weak to abuse, sexual harassment and violence, which is in flip harming their psychological well being and emotional well-being, according to a report by U.N. Women, a United Nations group devoted to gender equality.

Forty-five p.c of ladies surveyed in 13 nations reported that they or a girl they knew had skilled a type of violence for the reason that begin of the pandemic, and the ladies who mentioned this had been 1.3 instances extra doubtless than the others surveyed to report larger psychological and emotional stress.

The surveys outlined violence in opposition to ladies to incorporate bodily abuse; verbal abuse; the denial of fundamental wants like well being care, meals and shelter; the denial of communication with different folks, together with being pressured to remain alone for lengthy durations of time; and sexual harassment.

The nations surveyed had been Albania, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Thailand and Ukraine. U.N. Girls mentioned that the nations had been chosen primarily based on regional range, with precedence given to low- and middle-income nations that had been implementing the group’s packages.

The report was launched forward of the Worldwide Day for the Elimination of Violence Towards Girls, which falls on Thursday and begins an annual 16-day campaign of activism in opposition to gender-based violence.

Among the many report’s findings:

  • 4 in 10 ladies mentioned they felt extra unsafe in public areas.

  • One in 4 mentioned that family conflicts had change into extra frequent, and the identical proportion felt extra unsafe of their house.

  • Seven in 10 mentioned that they thought verbal or bodily abuse by a companion had change into extra frequent.

  • Six in 10 mentioned they thought sexual harassment in public had worsened.

  • Three in 10 mentioned they thought that violence in opposition to ladies of their group had elevated.

“The Covid-19 pandemic, which necessitated isolation and social distancing, enabled a second, shadow pandemic of violence in opposition to ladies and ladies, the place they typically discovered themselves in lockdown with their abusers,” mentioned Sima Bahous, the chief director of U.N. Girls and a former Jordanian ambassador. “Our new information underlines the urgency of concerted efforts to finish this.”

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