“For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest. In their own homes,” said United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres.
In a video message on Monday, he urged governments to ensure protection of women as the world goes into a lockdown in response to the novel coronavirus.
“Violence is not confined to the battlefield,” Guterres said.
Peace is not just the absence of war. Many women under lockdown for #COVID19 face violence where they should be safest: in their own homes.
Today I appeal for peace in homes around the world.
I urge all governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/PjDUTrMb9v
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 6, 2020
Following the lockdown, reports of domestic violence have surged dramatically around the globe. The chief called the rise in violence against women “horrifying”.
He advised that the government should make the redress and prevention of domestic violence against women key in their fight against the novel coronavirus.
Guterres also called for setting up emergency warning systems in pharmacies and groceries, and for safe ways “for women to seek support, without alerting their abusers.”
“Together, we can and must prevent violence everywhere, from war zones to people’s homes, as we work to beat COVID-19,” he said, as he called “for peace at home — and in homes — around the world.”
More than 70,000 people across the world have died from the deadly virus and more than 1.2 million have been infected.