United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has called on countries to protect women at a time when domestic violence is on a surge because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Stating that that violence was not confined to the battlefield, he said that the threat for women and girls looms large at their homes where otherwise they should have been safe. In an appeal, Guterres said “Today I appeal for peace in homes around the world. I urge all governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic.”
He called on the government to make prevention/redress of violence against women a major part of their national response plans for coronavirus.
The UN Chief said the abuse against women and girls increased with the economic and social stress increased because of the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, women and girls were reported to experience some form of violence.
The World Health Organisation has already reported of the impact of violence on physical, sexual, mental and reproductive health of women and girls. It has been found that women who face violence fall into depression. Sexually harassed women may acquire HIV infection or become alcohol addicts. Reports also said that 87,000 women were killed intentionally in 2017. More than half of them were killed by intimate partners.
After the pandemic, the UN reported that the calls to its helplines in Malyasia and Lebanon doubled when compared to the same month last year. It tripled in China and Australia. The UN said that these numbers showed the intensity of the violence.