In Focus: 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence: As countries implemented lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, violence against women, especially domestic violence, intensified – in some countries, calls to helplines have increased five-fold. In others, formal reports of domestic violence have decreased as survivors find it harder to seek help and access support through the regular channels. School closures and economic strains left women and girls poorer, out of school and out of jobs, and more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, forced marriage, and harassment.
Today, although the voices of activists and survivors have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced or ignored, ending violence against women will require more investment, leadership and action. It cannot be sidelined; it must be part of every country’s national response, especially during the unfolding COVID-19 crisis.
Let’s use these 16 Days of Activism from 25 November to 10 December under the umbrella of the Generation Equality campaign to End Gender-Based Violence. I call upon individuals and organizations around the world to adopt this as an organizing strategy to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.