The World Health Organization earlier this week (June 17) reiterated concerns over the rate at which COVID-19 exposes women in Africa “to a higher risk of abuse and gender-based violence.”
This comes after hundreds of cases on rape and other forms of violence against women have been recorded in parts of the continent.
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Dr. Matshidiso Moeti is WHO regional Director for Africa: “The physical distances associated with home stay orders have affected women’s businesses, their ability to earn a living on a daily basis and, in some cases, have unfortunately exposed women involved in abusive relationships to a higher risk of violence, gender-based violence.”
Bineta Diop is the AU’s special envoy on women peace and security: “The majority of African women are in the informal labour market, losing their jobs and being asked to stay safe at home.
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“So, definitively, I can say that the impact of COVID-19 has the face of women in particular on our continent. Because of the situation, they are [more] disproportionately affected than men.”
Analysts say, sexual and gender-based-violence is a hidden ramification of the covid-19 pandemic that will likely cause many women to suffer in silence.
According to the World Health Organisation, 35% of women around the world have already experienced some form of sexual and gender-based violence in their lifetime.