Projects in more than 15 countries join UNDEF's call to action against Covid-19 domestic violence

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UNDEF’s civil society projects in more than 15 countries have swiftly answered UNDEF’s call to empower women to take action against gender-based violence, which has surged amid Covid-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and social and economic pressures. The call follows UN Secretary-General António Guterres appeal to all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19, highlighting the role of civil society organizations in this effort. Read the Secretary-General’s appeal here.

Below is a list of the actions of UNDEF projects so far against amid Covid-19 gender-based violence:

  • Afghanistan: An UNDEF project with the Community Center for Disabled, pictured, is conducting awareness campaigns for women with disabilities at risk of domestic violence. A call center is being set up, and training of trainers will enable campaigns to inform some 10,000 women with disabilities about Covid-19 prevention, gender-based violence, and support resources. The Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan is preparing radio and TV programming focusing on Covid-19 gender-based violence.
  • BeninAn UNDEF project with Ligue LIFE is adapting its community mobilization project against trafficking of young girls in Benin by disseminating information on Covid-19 gender-based violence through awareness-raising and advocacy activities.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: An UNDEF project with Caritas is disseminating and broadcasting educational programming on Covid-19 gender-based violence through community radio stations; building partnerships with local clinics for referral of potential gender-based violence cases; training local staff and local committees on gender-based violence response and referral. Pictured. 
  • Ecuador: An UNDEF project with Fundación Esquel engages young leaders to become civic activists against Covid-19 gender-based violence, and for peaceful and respectful attitudes towards women. Young men and women are trained in tools for advocacy and outreach, including concerts, murals, TED talks, videos, rallies, which are assembled in an awareness-raising campaign to reach at least 10,000 residents of Quito.
  • Egypt: An UNDEF project with the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights is building awareness-raising through media, mobilizing civil society, and providing legal consultations for exposed women.
  • Guatemala: An UNDEF project with the Women’s Justice Initiative is conducting advocacy and awareness raising on Covid-19 gender-based violence translated to the Kaqchikel language, broadcasting through community radio and other traditional community means; strengthening a dedicated hotline for gender-based violence cases; providing legal and psychological counselling to victims. Pictured. 
  • Haiti: An UNDEF project with Fanm Deside is working to create intervention units to support women exposed to Covid-19 gender-based violence during the crisis, and to disseminate awareness through local media.
  • Kyrgyzstan: An UNDEF project with the Community Media Association is broadcasting Covid-19 gender-based violence information in their community radio programming, and will hold virtual round table discussions focusing on the topic. The project covers all regions in Kyrgyzstan and works with key stakeholders: journalists, women activists, rural women and government officials. Pictured.
  • Lebanon: An UNDEF project with Abaad is preparing to launch a project on strengthening victim protections and realigning social attitudes on gender-based violence during Covid-19 and its aftermath. The project will build on a recently completed first UNDEF Lebanon project in this area, implemented by the same organization. This contributed to agreement to repeal Lebanon’s Article 522, which exempted a rapist from punishment if the survivor married the perpetrator -- a provision grounded in social norms that often resulted in a victim being coerced by family to marry her attacker.
  • Lebanon’s Syrian refugee community: An UNDEF project with Mandat International is conducting surveys among women refugees to identify abuse and develop awareness; and working with legal experts on women’s rights to address gender-based physical, psychological, economic abuse. Pictured.
  • LiberiaAn UNDEF project with the Liberia Women Media Action Committee is disseminating and training women in the use of a free offline mobile app that can be used to report gender-based violence and find help for women in emergency situations.
  • Namibia: An UNDEF project with the Women's Action for Development is preparing radio programmes on gender-based violence facilitated by their regional community voice members.
  • Nepal:  An UNDEF project with DEC-Nepal is broadcasting radio programming among its target ethnic Chepang communities to inform vulnerable women about Covid-19 violence helplines, quick response and self-protection – including government crisis management centres at district hospitals. The centres provider free treatment, collection of medical evidence, psycho-social counselling, shelter and security guidance.
  • Palestine: An UNDEF project with the Women's Affairs Center is providing case management services for Covid-19 gender-based violence, including  Individual legal, mental health and psychosocial counselling, court representation, referral to shelter services and family or couple therapy.
  • Russian FederationAn UNDEF project with Focus-Media is working with crisis centers for women to develop an algorithm for advising women on issues of violence; providing online 24-hour support and information; adding psychologists to support women who have applied; disseminating information among target groups.
  • Rwanda: An UNDEF project with the Community of Potters of Rwanda are conducting monthly radio broadcasts on Covid-19 gender-based violence prevention; disseminating documentaries on ending domestic violence and on impact faced by potters community Nyaruguru; offering referral services and discussion sessions in women safe spaces; holding monthly safe space meetings with facilitators to share information on prevention; launching a competition on innovative, sustainable and independent actions to fight gender-based violence.
  • Somalia: An UNDEF project with the Somali Birth Attendance Cooperative Organization is adapting its radio and TV programming to create awareness of Covid-19 gender-based violence. Pictured.