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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.
This brief explores the implications for the provision of essential services for women and girls who have experienced violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides recommendations for governments, civil society, and international organizations that are seeking to improve the quality of and access to coordinated health, police and justice, and social services for all women and girls during the crisis and provides examples of promising practices to date.
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.