GENEVA (14 July 2020)The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a pandemic of gender-based violence and discrimination against women that requires urgent action, say UN and regional experts on violence against women and women’s rights.

As countries imposed lockdowns to fight the health pandemic, the world saw “dramatic increases in cases of domestic violence, including violence by intimate partners, sexual violence and femicide,” the seven experts* said today in a joint statement. “Urgent steps must be taken to combat this pandemic within a pandemic.

“The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing gaps and deep-rooted gender-based discrimination,” they said.  “Fewer police interventions and the closure of courts, shelters and essential services for victims have emboldened perpetrators and aggravated risks faced by women and girls.”

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