Coronavirus has caused governments around the world to totally lockdown their various countries, businesses are closed; hospitals all around the globe are finding it difficult to cope with the situation while other sicknesses are killing people because all attentions are on Coronavirus, but, sadly, domestic abuses are on the increase.
Domestic violence against women and girls is alarming especially in Africa. Women have been abused daily because their abusers are living with them in their communities and homes due to the lockdown imposed by governments. The security forces are not paying attention to this inhuman treatment against women and girls, this is unacceptable. `
During this time of global disaster where human existence is being threatened by a common enemy called COVID-19, the increase of violence against women is unacceptable. This action has reached our attention and can no longer keep silent, recently, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced on AllAfrica online news that at least 2,230 gender-based violence cases were reported during the first week of the national lockdown in South Africa, similarly, the Musasa Project, an NGO and the member of the peace-building Network of Zimbabwe says it received 764 gender-based violence cases in the last two weeks during the lockdown.
With extreme anger and tears, I call on our male counterparts who are involved in this inhume act to stop this now. The World Health Organization (WHO) is yet to inform the world when the pandemic will end. There are new cases daily and the global lockdown therefore continues. This means millions of women and girls are still lockdown homes with their abusers, it is a possible case of them losing their pride to abusers, increase in teenage and unwanted pregnancies; and even lusting the ability to plan their families well in the future because the issues of unwanted pregnancies is a serious threat to girls' education and might result in an increase in child marriage.
Women have been abused daily with less attention from government around the globe mainly in Africa; hence, I want to call on the attention of World Leaders, International Development Organizations, and its donor partners that are fighting the coronavirus not to neglect these issues of domestic violence during this pandemic.
Let us all remember that we have seventeen (17) Stainable Development Goals to achieve by 2030 and if this issue of domestic violence against women and girls continues during this crisis, the world will have another pandemic to fight. The Pandemic of malnutrition, the pandemic of teenage pregnancies and it might not achieve its Sustainable Development Goals in 2030. The domestic violence during this pandemic is undemanding the efforts to end gender-based violence and to achieve quality education. Women and girls are the most affected victims; I, therefore, call for an end to domestic violence against women at this critical time of global health crisis. This pandemic is already popping a cataclysmic of the SDGs goals. It will be a further disaster if the violence against women continues during this lockdown.
Everyone is struggling to combat the virus. Scientists are struggling to get a vaccine, governments are losing revenues, and the world economies are crumbling — let us not lose our sight on domestic violence, because it is also a threat to the world.
Comrades and friends, like the Ebola epidemic, where three African countries (Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leon) were highly affected with approximate deaths of 11,310, I see a struggling world at pose coronavirus. The case of Ebola is a long-lasting excruciating that will not be forgotten. Judging Ebola, we need a united fight against the coronavirus not domestic violence against women.
As I conclude, this pandemic should not cause a million cases of domestic abuse against our women and girls around the world.
Women did not cause a global lockdown, let our male counterpart directs their attention to the virus, not women who are also victims of the virus. As we fight COVID-19, I am asking everyone to protect the rights of women and girls during this crisis.
Fight coronavirus NOT Women!
Joelyn Kou Gbusseh is a Liberia and a Human Right Advocate, before matriculation to the U.S; she attended the United Methodist University up to junior level reading Secondary Education major. For more information about my professional background please email me on [email protected] or Facebook|Linkedin|Twitter|Instagram