Covid-19 and Gender Violence: Which one is the real pandemic?

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, Metropolis, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and Cities Alliance are launching an awareness campaign focusing on violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public and private spheres, in politics and online spaces.

Metropolis, UCLG and Cities Alliance deliver a vital message that urges local, regional, and metropolitan political representatives to acknowledge the importance of integrating a gender-responsive and gender-sensitive approach into all their COVID-19 responses and services.

This campaign also sheds light on the fact that violence is the result of existing gender inequality in urban areas, multiplied and exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis (and in particular in metropolitan spaces, where urban inequality is more evident). Women’s safety is a multi-layered issue and interventions should address the underlying causes of VAWG, including gender-biased social and cultural norms. Such an approach needs to consider private, public, and political spheres, spatial, social, and economic dynamics, and their intersections.