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GIGA Forum

The Shadow Pandemic: Policy Efforts Addressing Gender-Based Violence During COVID-19




02:00 p.m. (CET)


03:30 p.m. (CET)

Over the past two decades, women’s movements around the world have succeeded in making visible – and politicising – the endemic problem of violence against women. Yet, how governments address this problem varies dramatically across countries.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization reported that one-in-three women experience violence by a partner or sexual violence by a non-partner. When COVID-19 hit, the risk of gender-based violence, especially within the home, increased further. People were instructed to stay at home while households have simultaneously faced great financial and emotional stress. Many studies indicate an increase in violence against women and children since March 2020, also in countries of the Global South.

Government responses have focused on bolstering emergency helplines and online resources. Beyond this, the continuity of health, legal, and social support services on the prevention and treatment of violence against women has been very challenging. This GIGA Forum/GIGA Talk presents initial results from a policy tracker anchored by Merike Blofield, and linked to the Lancet Commision on GBV and Maltreatment of Young People. It addresses gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on Latin American countries as well as on Uganda, South Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. The participating experts will also present policy recommendations.

Speakers: Asma Khalifa is a Doctoral Researcher at the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies.

Nancy Madera is a Doctoral Researcher at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín in Argentina.

Johanna Pieper is a Doctoral Researcher at the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies.

Commentators: Dr. Felicia Knaul is Professor of Public Health at the University of Miami, Director of the UM Institute for the Advanced Study of the Americas, and Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on GBV and Maltreatment of Young People.

Dr. Beverley Essue is Associate Professor of Global Health at the University of Toronto and Scientific Advisor of the Lancet Commission on GBV and Maltreatment of Young People.

Dr. Shanaaz Mathews is Director of the Children’s Institute and Professor of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, as well as Commissioner of the Lancet Commission on GBV and Maltreatment of Young People.

Moderator: Dr. Merike Blofield is Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies and Professor of Political Science at Universität Hamburg.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 | 2:00–3:30 p.m. (CET)


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