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According to a report published by WHO in the year 2020, lockdowns and related restrictions on movement have led to a surge in violence against women and girls around the world, as many are now trapped at home with their abusers. This does not negate the fact that how widely the violence was prevalent even prior to the pandemic. Violence committed by their partners in a relationship in the form of domestic violence is the most prevalent form and it starts early. Nearly 1 in 3 girls and women who are in a relationship have already experienced violence in one form or another, be it physical and/or sexual violence by age 19, the report found.
Globally too, nearly 6% of women have reported being sexually assaulted by someone other than a husband or partner. The real figure could likely be higher, as sexual abuse is very stigmatized and as a result, it is under-reported, according to the analysis. While the problem of violence against women is pervasive globally, it is not distributed equally. Many factors such as social and economic have turned out to be a leading risk factor. Most affected women are present in low and lower-middle-income regions are disproportionately affected, the report found. For example, in rural Bihar and UP, 51% of women will experience violence from a domestic partner in their lifetime, compared with 25% of women in Urban cities.
The report calls for some serious interventions by our government by reforming laws and making them stronger. The discrimination against women’s education, employment, and legal rights should be a prime focus of the administration. Improvement in women’s access to health care, including post-rape care also needs to be more streamlined.