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U.N. Surveys Recommend Violence In opposition to Girls Has Intensified in Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has made girls really feel extra susceptible to abuse, sexual harassment and violence, which is in flip harming their psychological well being and emotional well-being, according to a report by U.N. Women, a United Nations group devoted to gender equality.

Forty-five % of girls surveyed in 13 international locations reported that they or a lady they knew had skilled a type of violence because the begin of the pandemic, and the ladies who stated this had been 1.3 occasions extra probably than the others surveyed to report larger psychological and emotional stress.

The surveys outlined violence towards girls to incorporate bodily abuse; verbal abuse; the denial of fundamental wants like well being care, meals and shelter; the denial of communication with different folks, together with being compelled to remain alone for lengthy durations of time; and sexual harassment.

The international locations surveyed had been Albania, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Thailand and Ukraine. U.N. Girls stated that the international locations had been chosen based mostly on regional range, with precedence given to low- and middle-income nations that had been implementing the group’s packages.

The report was launched forward of the Worldwide Day for the Elimination of Violence In opposition to Girls, which falls on Thursday and begins an annual 16-day campaign of activism towards gender-based violence.

Among the many report’s findings:

  • 4 in 10 girls stated they felt extra unsafe in public areas.

  • One in 4 stated that family conflicts had change into extra frequent, and the identical proportion felt extra unsafe of their house.

  • Seven in 10 stated that they thought verbal or bodily abuse by a associate had change into extra frequent.

  • Six in 10 stated they thought sexual harassment in public had worsened.

  • Three in 10 stated they thought that violence towards girls of their group had elevated.

“The Covid-19 pandemic, which necessitated isolation and social distancing, enabled a second, shadow pandemic of violence towards girls and women, the place they usually discovered themselves in lockdown with their abusers,” stated Sima Bahous, the chief director of U.N. Girls and a former Jordanian ambassador. “Our new information underlines the urgency of concerted efforts to finish this.”

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