Impact of COVID-19 on GBV
One year and a half since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic, women and girls continue to be affected by increasing risks of domestic violence and other forms of gender based violence.
In the first half of 2021, reported incidents of GBV increased by 50.9% compared to the previous year. Worsen economic situation and lack of livelihood and income generating opportunities or loss of jobs was one of the factors that exacerbates the exposure to GBV. However, the gradual reopening of service provision centers and the removal of movements restrictions facilitated survivors’ access to GBV specialized services. GBV case management agencies continued providing their services remotely and in person and expanded their hotlines. Survivors’ awareness about available services and how to seek support increased thanks to campaigning and outreach efforts. With re-opening of all sectors in the country, resume of work and lifting of home quarantine, women re-gained space to seek help and get the needed support without worrying about being heard by the perpetrators or having limitation to reach services.
Reporting of sexual abuse incidents increased by 51.5% in comparison to data collected in the same period last year. Sexual abuse was committed in the context of sexual exploitation by landlords and workers in different sectors, taking advantage of survivors needs to meet basic needs for their families. Few instances of online sexual harassment and blackmailing perpetrated by impersonators- some pretending to work for humanitarian aid agencies- has been reported. Moreover, shifting school to online modality, limitation of accessing child friendly spaces and lack of children’s activities to fill children’s free time meant more time spent on internet and social media, which led eventually to increase exposure to online sexual harassment against children.
Incidents of sexual violence have also been reported in workplaces. Mainly in the context of informal work in the agriculture sector, and child labor.
According to GBV IMS, case management agencies recorded GBV incidents in the context of harmful practices, 20% of those incidents were so called “honor-related violence” (honor violence and threats of honor violence) due to survivors’ exposure to sexual abuse, going against social norms, defamation as well as considerations related to gender identity. Notably since the beginning of 2021 until the end of June, Jordan witnessed 12 domestic murders committed, taking the lives of 13 females (SOURCE: SIGI-Jo https://www.sigi-jordan.org/?p=11184).