Gender-based violence (GBV) increases during every type of emergency – whether economic crises, conflict or disease outbreaks. Pre-existing toxic social norms and gender inequalities, economic and social stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, have led to an exponential increase in GBV. Many women are in ‘lockdown’ at home with their abusers while being cut off from normal support services.
This briefing note provides concrete actions and strategies that UNDP, UN agencies and other development partners can take to prevent and address GBV in the context of COVID-19. It includes recommendations for adapting dedicated GBV services and support to the crisis context, and for mainstreaming GBV prevention and response in 'non-GBV specific' interventions.