Wednesday 5 August 2020
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reliefweb - 20 days ago

World: Protecting Forcibly Displaced Women and Girls during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Country: World Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Examples of UNHCR gender responsive and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention, risk mitigation and response interventions The COVID-19 pandemic has significant gendered impacts and affects people differently depending on age, gender, disability and other personal diversity characteristics. Several factors put forcibly displaced women and girls especially at risk during the pandemic. Women are highly exposed to the virus given their high proportion among frontline health workers and through burdensome unpaid caregiving responsibilities, including caring for sick family members. Refugee and internally displaced women are more likely to hold precarious jobs in the informal sector and face disruptions in livelihoods and income generating activities as a result of the pandemic. Forcibly displaced adolescent girls are facing increased risk of disrupted education and school drop-out as well as an extra caregiving burden during the pandemic. The outbreak and subsequent movement restrictions have exacerbated existing risks of GBV, in particular intimate partner violence, as well as risks of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) while also hampering access to lifesaving services for survivors and other essential health services. Furthermore, limited access to information and decision-making spaces related to the COVID-19 response place women and girls at risk. Despite these challenges, forcibly displaced women and girls are showing extreme resilience and are playing an important role in responding to the pandemic. Across the globe, UNHCR operations are innovating to enhance support to refugee, returnee and internally displaced women and girls, while promoting their leadership throughout the response. This brief provides a snapshot of GBV and gender responsive interventions during the outbreak.


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