COVID-19 has increased the risks of sexual and gender-based violence against women in the Northern Region, Madam Bushira Alhassan, Northern Regional Director, Department of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has said.
She said in an epidemic such as the Covid-19, women and girls were at higher risk of experiencing intimation and other forms of domestic violence due to heightened tensions in the household.
Madam Alhassan said this on the International Women’s Day (IWD), organised by her Department, in partnership with the Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency (SWIDA), Pan African Organisation for Research and Protection of Women and Children against Violence (PAORP-VAWG) and Songtaba organisation.
Madam Alhassan urged world leaders to act fast to address the issues before it got out of hand, adding that women leaders and women organisations had demonstrated their skills, knowledge and networks to effectively lead in the Covid-19 response and recovery and should be acknowledged.
She said COVID-19 had disrupted economic activities, which invariably affected small and medium entreprises and their employees, compelling them to temporarily shut down businesses as well as disrupt their sources of income.
She said many couples spent more time at home during the lockdown and that affected their incomes, placing financial and psychological burden on breadwinners, who were mostly men, and translated to heightened tension, leading to violence.