Week of 4 May 2020
There will be a 20% increase in domestic violence due to the lockdowns; this represents 15 million cases in a 3-month lockdown, with an additional 5 million for every additional month of lockdown (according to the UN Population Fund – UNFPA)
New data from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) (with partners Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University and Victoria University) finds that the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns will result in:
- An additional 15 million cases of intimate partner violence in 2020. This is based on an average lockdown duration of 3 months and represents a projected 20% violence increase. An additional 15 million cases of domestic violence will occur for every additional three months of lockdown (31 million cases for a 6-month lockdown, 45 million for a 9-month lockdown, 61 million for a 12-month lockdown). The primary cause is the lockdown and the associated stay-at-home orders. Other factors include mounting household tensions and economic stresses.
- An additional 2 million girls will be subject to female genital mutilation over the next ten years (as compared to if prevention programmes had continued on a pre-COVID-19 basis). This represents a 33 per cent reduction in the progress toward ending this practice as compared to if COVID-19 had not occurred.
- An additional 13 million children will find themselves in marriages due to the economic consequences of COVID-19 and the disruption of efforts to end child marriages. Poverty is a key driver of child marriage, and therefore the economic downturn is expected to increase child marriage in low-income countries by 5.6 million. The additional 7.4 million of child marriages is due to the significant limitations placed on interventions intended to avert child marriage.
- An additional 7 million unintended pregnancies will occur (assuming a 6-month lockdown and ongoing service disruptions to contraceptives and health facilities). The report gives a range of estimates, ranging from 325,000 to 15 million unintended pregnancies, depending on the level of health service disruptions and the number of months of lockdown.
“It’s a calamity. Totally calamitous. It is so clear that Covid-19 is compounding the no longer subterranean disparities that affect millions of women and girls.”