Beirut: Domestic violence and social challenges faced by women and girls in the Arab region have worsened after the outbreak of COVID-19, a new policy brief by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) said.
“Domestic violence has increased in the world and the Arab region with lockdowns, enforced co-existence due to quarantines, economic stress, perceived and real food insecurity, and fears about exposure to the virus,” ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti said, Xinhua news agency reported.
Female survivors of violence will face increased difficulties in accessing help during the pandemic, Dashti said.
“In times of crises, food and nutrition distribution within households is not always equitable. Women and girls are also more likely to reduce the quality and quantity of food consumption, and adopt negative coping strategies,” the ESCWA brief said.
Within households, women often assume the role of informal healthcare providers and caretakers, which results in them being emotionally and physically exhausted, further increasing those risks, it added.