Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has increased dramatically around the world. Due to the urgency, the Secretary-General called for ‘peace in the home’ and called on governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women and girls an important part of their national COVID-19 response and recovery plans. .
In a letter to United Nations member states and the head of the European Union delegation, UN Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka called on heads of state / government worldwide to take tangible action. express their commitment to end violence against women, on the occasion of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (25 November – 10 December).
With visible political will and tangible action that protects and empowers women and girls, real progress is possible and it is critical to recover from the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her letter, the Executive Director says:
“As the world prepares for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2020, I would like to call on your government to make your commitment to dealing with violence against women and girls at the highest level visible in the COVID-19 by issuing a short statement on social media, in the form of a video message or a short text at the highest possible level, ideally at the level of Head of State / Government, and emphasizing:
Tangible actions taken to address violence against women and girls in the context of COVID-19;
Future planning policies and actions to implement in this context;
Your government’s commitment to raising awareness of the issue at national and international level. ‘
She further urged governments to use their social media platforms on November 25 to spread their message about ending violence against women, accompanied by the hashtag #orangetheworld.
UN Women and other partners will strengthen some of the commitments on social media and take up relevant policy actions on the COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker.
The letter also refers to the recent statement by the UN Interagents on violence against women and COVID-19. The statement is based on four key areas:
Prioritize funding for a minimum package of essential services and include violence against women prevention in COVID-19 fiscal stimulus packages.
Make urgent and flexible funding available to women’s rights organizations working on COVID-19 and addressing violence against women
Declare national zero-tolerance policy on violence against women and girls with concrete action plan
Launch a social mobilization campaign for COVID-19
Take explicit measures to maintain services for survivors of violence as essential
Ensure continuity of adequate response to the criminal justice system.
Collect data to improve services and applications
Visit the UN Women website for more information on the 16 Days of Activism Campaign