NEW YORK – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres gave an address today on violence against women living under quarantine measures issued to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center, had the following response:
“We applaud the Secretary-General for his important call today to end violence against women, which recognizes one of the key gendered impacts of crises situations such as COVID-19.
“Like his call for a global ceasefire, today’s call recognizes how violence and crisis situations exacerbate existing inequalities in society and emphasize the need to center those most impacted in responses. However, to date, we have consistently seen that COVID-19 responses have inadequately taken women’s rights and human rights into account. And there’s been a lack of inclusivity in the groups responsible for crisis response and decision-making.
“As the Secretary-General recognized, violence against women requires a multi-faceted response, including access to support services and shelters and judicial systems. We hope that states heed this important call and take immediate measures to ensure that measures are taken to prevent and respond to domestic violence, and ensure that all measures are grounded in human rights and involve an inclusive group of women in its design and decision-making.”