Gender-Based Violence in a Pandemic: Evidence to Inform Prevention and Response



A man and woman walk together holding hands
Photo: Yagazie Emezi/Getty Images/Images of Empowerment

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in three women worldwide experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly perpetrated by an intimate partner. In recent times, lockdowns to prevent the spread of the disease have restricted women’s mobility, increased economic strain and familial stress, and exacerbated the threat of violence. A “shadow pandemic” of gender-based violence (GBV) has emerged, with some recent data showing increases in reports of GBV across the world.

Responding to GBV can be challenging, particularly in a time of crisis when governments and practitioners are working to simultaneously address a range of issues, from public health concerns to economic repercussions. Overcrowded health systems and the necessities of social distancing can also make responding to GBV particularly challenging. 

What are some broad challenges that donors and policymakers are grappling with in addressing GBV during the pandemic? What can research tell us about how the pandemic and lockdown influence the prevalence of GBV? What are some actionable policy measures that can be taken to prevent and respond? This webinar, co-hosted by the Center for Global Development and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), will explore some of these questions and share insights from research that might be useful to practitioners as they work towards preventing and addressing GBV during the pandemic.

Watch the live-stream of this event



Diana J. Arango 
Senior Gender-Based Violence and Development Specialist, World Bank Group 

Erica Field
Professor of Economics and Global Health, Duke University and J-PAL Affiliate

Felicia Knaul 
Co-Chair, Lancet Commission on Gender-Based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People
Director, Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas
Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine

Megan O’Donnell
Assistant Director, Gender and Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Development 


Akshara Gopalan
Policy Associate, J-PAL