Rapid Assessment: The Effects of COVID-19 on Violence Against Women

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 infection as a pandemic. The majority of the affected countries put in place precautionary measures to mitigate the exposure risk. Many countries in the Arab States region have fragile health systems, an emergency response was put in place through establishing isolation and/or quarantine measures to reduce transmission risks and curb the spread of the virus. This resulted in the closure of public spaces, schools, and the closure of all international travel. Citizens have been asked to self-isolate and remain at home, while the countries were going through a complete lockdown.

While self-isolation could mean safety for many in a time of chaos and uncertainty, for thousands of women across the Arab States, home is a place of violence and fear. RIWI and UN Women Office for the Arab States conducted a study to document the gendered impact of COVID-19 on men and women in the region, with a focus on gender roles and attitudes and practices related to gender equality and violence against women.

RIWI conducted a web-survey in 9 countries in the region, namely Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen. The targeted sample size was 1,000 respondents in each country with two strata consisting of a minimum of 500 men and 500 women; with a confidence level 97 percent and 5 percent margin of error. A total of 16,462 respondents took part in the survey, including 5,070 women (30 percent).

See the preliminary results here.