Addressing sexual and gender-based violence – the challenges of a global pandemic

December 2020

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is rising in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has been estimated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that, in the first six months of lockdown, as many as 31 million new incidents of SGBV may have occurred. As the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, we are more than ever aware of the continued discrimination and inequality that can drive increased risks to women, girls, boys, men and sexual and gender minorities, including persons with disabilities, of facing SGBV in crises. The Movement resolution on joint action for SGBV prevention and response, adopted at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 2015, highlighted the continued and urgent necessity to address this issue. On the occasion of the 16 Days of Activism against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, the ICRC and IFRC operational teams shed light on where we should go from here.

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