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UN Women is at the forefront of the global drive to remove gender barriers because we believe in a world of justice and human rights for everyone. Towards that end, and as the only United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality, we marshal the world’s best gender expertise and the considerable resources of the United Nations. We connect people in many realms, the national and international, the public and private, activists and officials. Together, our efforts are more than any of us could pursue alone.
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This rapid assessment examines how the impacts of COVID-19 are threatening women’s ability to access justice. The assessment reflects challenges faced by women and girls of diverse backgrounds and socio-economic groups, including those experiencing overlapping disadvantages and those facing amplified challenges in humanitarian settings. Cross-regional and local experiences are highlighted, and quantitative data is utilized where available.
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Humanitarian needs continue to grow with nearly 132 million people in need of assistance in 2018, due to conflict, persecution, and natural disasters. The average humanitarian crisis now lasts more than nine years, and periods of forced displacement more than seventeen. Women and girls who make up approximately half of this 132 million face daily discrimination and violence. The breakdown of protection mechanisms and destruction of essential services and economic structures in crises hits the already marginalized hardest.