On February 7, 2000, the United Nations (UN) officially designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
As in previous years, the day will be commemorated through 16 days of activism starting today and ending on December 10, International Human Rights Day. This will include a series of events, digital initiatives as well as ‘making orange’ some iconic buildings and landmarks as a reminder of the mission to end violence against women.
A new UN Women report, due to be published today, gathered data from 13 countries* which revealed that COVID-19 has eroded women’s feelings of safety, both at home and in public spaces, with significant negative impacts on their mental and emotional well-being.
As countries went into lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, violence against women intensified, especially domestic violence, and the challenges of reporting it grew.
In the Czech Republic, the organisation Rosa, which provides counselling for victims of domestic violence and gender-based violence, has reported that the number of calls received has doubled during the pandemic, and the length of calls has increased threefold.
Safety Line has seen an increase of 25% in contacts by online chat, many of which are alert messages from the children of the household.
According to research by the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, in cooperation with the Focus agency, 85% of Czechs consider domestic violence to be a serious or significant issue, while 5% consider the problem to be overestimated.
The issue was considered significant mostly by women, university graduates, younger people and residents of smaller towns. On the other hand, a fifth of men were either not aware of the topic or considered it overstated. Most of those interviewed considered physical violence to be the most damaging form of violence.
*Jordan, Morocco; Bangladesh, Thailand, Kenya, Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Colombia, Paraguay, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria