Shipping containers transformed into health centre saves lives
Last year, Concern built a new life-saving health clinic using old shipping containers in just three months in one of the hottest and poorest parts of the world; Chad.
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Since the outbreak of Covid-19, emerging data and reports released by the United Nations have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has increased.
Coronavirus has widened global systemic inequalities affecting women and girls in a number ways, but an increase in gender-based violence – dubbed by the UN as the ‘shadow pandemic’ – is emphasising the need for prioritisation in addressing violence against women in Covid-19 response and recovery efforts.
Gender-based violence (GBV) refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms. Gender-based violence is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue [UN Women].
Here are some facts:
According to a report released in 2020, 243 million women and girls aged 15-49 had been subjected to sexual and/or physical violence perpetrated by an intimate partner in the last 12 months [Covid-19 and Ending Violence against Women and Girls]. This number was predicted to rise as security, health and money worries heightened tensions and was worsened by cramped and confined living conditions.
Reported cases of GBV have increased by 30% in France, 25% in Argentina, 30% in Cyprus, and 33% in Singapore since the start of the pandemic. Increased calls to helplines or via other mechanisms for reporting GBV incidents have also been documented since the start of Covid-19 in numerous other countries, including the United States, Canada, China, Australia, the UK, Lebanon, and Malaysia.
In addition to the increase in numbers, violence against women is taking on new intricacy. At a time when services to support survivors were being disrupted or made inaccessible, many women have been forced to ‘lockdown’ at home with their abusers.
Concern addresses GBV and its root causes through providing:
You can find out more about how we tackle gender inequality here.
While some of the immediate impacts have started to improve as restrictions have eased, many will have lifelong effects on those that have been hardest hit. The rates of depression, anxiety disorders, unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV are higher in women who have experienced violence compared to women who have not, as well as many other health problems that can last even after the violence – and the pandemic – has ended.
Therefore, even if in the UK we appear to be slowly making moves to the road of recovery and away from the aftershocks of the pandemic, for millions of women and girls across the globe, their journey has only just begun.
If you, or someone you know, have been affected by domestic abuse or violence, the following organisations may be able to help. If you are in immediate danger, you should dial 999.
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline
The 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge is for women experiencing domestic abuse, their family, friends and others calling on their behalf.
Phone: 0808 2000 247
The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline (Northern Ireland)
The 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline (Northern Ireland) offers referral to a range of services to all women, men and children affected by domestic & sexual violence.
Phone: 0808 802 1414
We partner with a range of organisations that share our passion and the results have been fantastic.