The gendered impacts of infectious disease outbreaks and their propensity to increase Gender-Based Violence (GBV) have been well-documented in each of the most recent major epidemics - including Zika, SARS and Ebola. Early evidence indicates that COVID-19 is no different in this respect, with GBV providers and community groups reporting a sharp increase in reported incidents of Intimate Partner Violence. Adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable. Studies of past disease outbreaks and other humanitarian crisis have shown that without targeted intervention, COVID-19 will heighten pre-existing risks of GBV against girls, stymie their social, economic and educational development and threaten their sexual reproductive health.3 This paper looks to set out the particular vulnerabilities for adolescent girls and provides practical guidance on how to provide girls with targeted support during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Rescue Committee
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