A database of government responses to Covid-19 has found that most countries across the globe are failing to address the needs of women during the crisis.
The new UN database that tracks government responses to the coronavirus was launched by two United Nations agencies on Monday. It focused on how 206 countries and territories tackle violence against women and girls, support unpaid care workers, as well as strengthen women`s economic security during the fallout from the pandemic.
There has been a surge in cases of domestic abuse in most countries during the period of the pandemic, highlighting the need to bring in measures which specifically protect women from the impact of the coronavirus.
The UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting women hard – as victims of domestic violence locked down with their abusers, as unpaid caregivers in families and communities and as workers in jobs that lack social protection.
According to the UN database, only one in eight countries worldwide had introduced policies and measures specifically meant to support women. A few countries responded to gender-based violence cases through running helplines and providing accommodation.
Hakima Abbas, co-executive director of AWID, the Association of Women’s Rights in Development said: “The pandemic has really exposed a weakness in social protection systems, but revealed how strongly our society depends on care work. At the same time it also sharply increased the care burden. States must invest in care services.”
The number of cases of abuse and violence against women can decrease if countries worldwide introduce sufficient measures to protect women and girls from “pandemic-linked risks”