United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said there has been a "horrifying global surge in domestic violence" and urged governments to make women’s safety a key part of their national coronavirus response plans.
Lockdowns and quarantines are essential for stopping Covid-19 but they can trap women with abusive partners," Guterres said. "In some countries the number of women calling support services has doubled. Meanwhile healthcare providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed. Local support groups are paralyzed or short of funds. Some domestic violence shelters are closed; others are full.
Watch his address here:
Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center, said the call "recognizes how violence and crisis situations exacerbate existing inequalities in society and emphasize the need to center those most impacted in responses."
"However, to date, we have consistently seen that Covid-19 responses have inadequately taken women’s rights and human rights into account. And there’s been a lack of inclusivity in the groups responsible for crisis response and decision-making," she said.