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How the Pandemic Put Women at Risk

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, there are many smart, courageous, and dedicated women to celebrate and much to be proud of. Doctors, Nurses and Healthcare workers who sacrificed their families to save ours.

The Global Covid-19 pandemic impacted our lives in ways we could not originally imagine. It’s been a year since the first lockdowns began around the world.

Who thought it would be an entire year that we wouldn’t be able to hug our children and grandchildren? Did you imagine you would not be able to send your children to school or allow them to play with their friends for the rest of 2020 and into 2021?

Then there are the darker realities of this pandemic. Women have borne the bigger share of the burden in many ways. As schools and businesses shut down, women were isolated at home. Without childcare options, many lost their jobs and their financial independence. There was an increase in violence against women due to the pandemic. Women were often stuck at home with their abusers. It saddens us to note that even as we make strides for equality, we are still in crises regarding violence against women and girls.

According to the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity's "true unemployment" metric, 30.9% of American women were unemployed as of November — an increase from October, even as the overall unemployment rate fell.”

Covid-19 Pandemic increases the financial, social, and emotional triggers for violence. Poverty is a key factor. It also increases the number of women and girls being targeted, leaving so many vulnerable to all kind of abuses- Sexual and physical abuse, child marriage, and slavery.

"COVID-19 is not just a short-term health crisis. The economic effects of this crisis are going to outlast the direct health effects for women."

—Megan O'Donnell, Assistant Director Gender Program and Senior Policy Analyst

According to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) published for International Woman's Day, One in three women or about 736 million women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence.

In the March 9th article published by Axios titled, WHO: 1 in 3 women globally experiences violence. Let’s take a deeper dive into the details about how women are suffering. Here are the statistics:

“Younger women are at highest risk for recent violence, according to the report, which is based on data gathered from 161 countries between 2000 and 2018.

  • One in four young women — aged 15-24 — who have been in a relationship will have already experienced violence by an intimate partner by the time they are in their mid-twenties.

  • Violence also disproportionately affects women in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

  • About 37% of women living in the poorest countries have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence. In some of these countries, the prevalence is as high as one in two.

"And that was the situation before the pandemic stay-at-home orders. We know that the multiple impacts of COVID-19 have triggered a 'shadow pandemic' of increased reported violence of all kinds against women and girls.”

This is a global problem, and one that includes the United States. According to the report, 25% of women and girls in the US have experienced sexual or physical violence,

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, talks about the problem and the solutions: “Violence against women is endemic in every country and culture, causing harm to millions of women and their families, and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic," "But unlike COVID-19, violence against women cannot be stopped with a vaccine." We can only fight it with deep-rooted and sustained efforts – by governments, communities, and individuals – to change harmful attitudes, improve access to opportunities and services for women and girls, and foster healthy and mutually respectful relationships."

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, President Biden acknowledged the House of Representatives for introducing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA).

The President urged Congress to:

“Come together in a bipartisan manner to ensure swift passage of VAWA legislation in both the House and the Senate. Strengthening and renewing VAWA is long past due. Delay is not an option, especially when the pandemic and economic crisis have only further increased the risks of abuse and the barriers to safety for women in the United States. Domestic violence is being called a pandemic within the COVID-19 pandemic, with growing evidence showing that the conditions of the pandemic have resulted in escalated rates of intimate partner violence and in some cases, more severe injuries.

VAWA has been reauthorized three times with bipartisan support in the years since we first passed it. …Each time, I worked to enhance the legislation to address barriers and expand access to safety and well-being for all survivors, including those from marginalized communities. Studies demonstrated that in the first two decades following VAWA's implementation, the rates of domestic violence declined significantly. While there has been significant progress in efforts to prevent and improve the response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking, there is still much work to do.”

In Addition to the VAWA Act, President Biden signed an executive order to create a Gender Policies council. Among the many initiatives included, the council will focus on

  • Empower girls by preventing and responding to all forms of gender-based violence.

  • Address responses to the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on women and girls, especially those related to health, gender-based violence, educational access and attainment, and economic status.

Although there are many initiatives being championed both globally, nationally, and locally, we have to continue to be vigilant in our own communities. Looking for ways to get involved and make an impact? Look to see what you can do to do impact change, raise awareness and take action.

Get educated about Child Marriage, Human Sex trafficking, and Violence against women and girls. Become an advocate. Visit our resource page at

to learn more;

Global Hope 365 is educating city, county, and local lawmakers on human trafficking prevention and increased penalties for offenders. Support our outreach efforts to introduce Human Trafficking prevention programs in schools and raise awareness among the larger commuities. (there is a lready a national registry for sex offenders, we do not need to create one and it is used b y law enforcement when someone is charged with a felony)

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