The COVID-19 pandemic has unmasked underlying inequities. Measures such as lockdown and physical distancing have confined many people to isolated, unsafe places that may increase risk of gender-based violence (GBV).
f lockdowns or restricted movement continue for just a year, it is estimated there will be 61 million more cases of GBV than what would have already been expected In response to this increase, UN Women launched the Shadow Pandemic public awareness campaign in May, 2020.2 Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General has called for countries to include GBV prevention as a component of COVID-19 recovery plans.
UN Women emphasises vital national responses to address violence against women and girls (VAWG) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and these responses could serve as useful entry points for comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) provision in the Arab region. VAWG regional responses include provision of shelters, telephone hotlines, and online counselling; strong messaging from law enforcement that violence against women and girls (VAWG) cases are high priority; and psychological support for women and girls, GBV survivors, and front-line health workers affected by both the COVID-19 and shadow pandemics.