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  • Women march with crosses during a demonstration on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women today, in Panama City (Panama).

    Women march with crosses during a demonstration on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women today, in Panama City (Panama). | Photo: EFE/ Bienvenido Velasco

Published 25 November 2020 (12 hours 2 minutes ago)
Opinion

ECLAC on Tuesday reported amid the COVID-19 pandemic, "national surveys from six countries in the region show between 60% and 76% of women (around 2 out of 3) has been the victim of gender-based violence in distinct areas of their lives."

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned on Wednesday that the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is causing a rise in violence against women after a study conducted in 31 countries of the region. According to the United Nations, 14 out of the 25 countries with the highest femicides rates are from Latin America and the Caribbean.

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PAHO's survey confirms the scope of the alarming trend that started in March following the initial lockdowns and containment measures, which forced families to spend more time together and for women, in particular, to endure their abusers as denounces of domestic violence have spiked.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)  reported that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, "national surveys from six countries in the region show between 60% and 76% of women (around 2 out of 3) has been the victim of gender-based violence in distinct areas of their lives."

Moreover, "on average, 1 out of every three women has been a victim of or is now suffering physical, psychological and/or sexual violence at the hands of a perpetrator who was, or is, her intimate partner, which entails the risk of lethal violence: femicide," ECLAC points out.

The situation is even more critical in the Caribbean. The latest report from the data hub Caribbean Women Count: Ending Violence against Women and Girls, which gathers information from Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, reveals that violence against women is endemic in the region since "46 percent of women in the five countries have experienced at least one form of violence."

According to the United Nations Development Programm (UNDP), since March, violence against women in Costa Rica has increased between 17 to 20 percent, while in Guatemala, it surpasses 50 percent.

However, on a global scale, Latin America and the Caribbean is also the region with more gender-sensitive measures to tackle these issues, according to the UNDP Global Gender Response Tracker. 261 of 574 measures implemented in 33 countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic have been addressed to protect women, including their health and economic security.

 
 

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