COALITION against Gender- Based Violence (MKUKI), said that violence against women and girls was increasing globally amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, spurred by economic and social stresses as a result of lockdowns, restricted movements and calls to stay home even in countries with no lockdown measure.
Director of Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF) Anna Kulaya said when delivering a joint statement by MKUKI and Data Driven Advocacy- Working Group Two (DDA WG2) on gender-based violence (GBV) amidst the Covid-19 outbreak that gender- based violence cases had been going up during this period when the world was battling with the scourge.
Ms Kulaya said crowded homes, substance abuse, limited access to services and reduced peer support were the reasons behind the increase of GBV.
She said while MKUKI and WG2 were struggling to gather data on current GBV particularly violence against women and girls (VAWG), emerging data showed such incidents had intensified.
“For instance, France has reported 30 per cent increase in domestic violence since the onset of the lockdown in March 2020. Similar cases have been reported in Argentina, Cyprus and Singapore by 25 percent, 30 percent and 33 percent respectively,” she narrated.
She said based on current case studies and historical trends, Tanzania was of no exception and that there was a need for interventions to curb the situation.
According to the United Nations, before the pandemic, it was estimated that one in three women will experience violence during their lifetimes. Many of these women are now trapped in their homes with their abusers.
Ms Kulaya went on that it was very unfortunate that abusers were taking advantage of the inability of women to escape as they risked being thrown out on the streets with no or inadequate support systems as most of them might have shifted their focus or might be facing circumstances of being overwhelmed or were otherwise unable to help.