COVID-19 and essential services provision for survivors of violence against women and girls

This brief explores the implications for the provision of essential services for women and girls who have experienced violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides recommendations for governments, civil society, and international organisations that are seeking to improve the quality of and access to coordinated health, police and justice, and social services for all women and girls, especially those who face multiple forms of discrimination and are at increased risk of experiencing violence. It was informed by a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society and women’s rights organisations, which, in many countries, provide most of the frontline services for survivors.

This document was developed under the UN Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, which is co-managed by UN Women and UNFPA, in partnership with UNODC, WHO, and UNDP. The paper complements the UN Women’s brief “COVID-19 and violence against women and girls” and should be read in conjunction with sector-specific guidance from WHO on “COVID-19 and violence against women”, from UNODC on “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19 response) – UNODC thematic brief on gender-based violence against women and girls”, and from UNFPA on “COVID-19: A gender lens – Protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights and promoting gender equality”.

This brief is part of the “EVAW COVID-19 briefs” series.