COVID Guide – Women and Girls

Lockdown procedures around the world have led to an increased focus on the issue of domestic violence. However, according to the OECD the economic and social consequences will exacerbate existing inequalities and discrimination against women and girls, especially among the most marginalised and vulnerable.

The European Women’s Lobby further notes that the situation is particularly worrying for women and girls made vulnerable by the crisis including sole carers, those in unsafe accommodation, those in precarious work or economic uncertainty, those requiring care or those who already face social exclusion.

In turn, this had led to increased calls for collaborative intelligence gathering to determine on-the-ground needs, as well as increased funding to enable organisations to adapt their service delivery to support vulnerable women and girls.

Fondation CHANEL has convened other key European donors in an Alliance for Women in Europe. The aim is to bring a structured response to the COVID-19 emergency as well as building capacity for long term support for women’s organisations in Europe. The initiative includes:

  • A pooled fund offering flexible operational grants that provides a single point of access to donors and organisations;
  • A dialogue and advocacy platform to share research and best practices, where experienced and new donors can convene with experts in their country and field of expertise through referrals.

Please contact the team for a follow up call:
Marion Schaefer, Head of European Programs (
Magali Nougarède, Executive Assistant (

Meanwhile, in the UK Rosa, the fund for women and girls, has conducted a women’s sector survey in partnership with the Women’s Resource CentreSmallwood Trust and Women’s Fund for Scotland, which had over 318 respondents.

Here are some of the top line findings from the survey:

  • Over 50% wanted to see a national campaign for protection of the sector.
  • Over 42% worked with BAME women.
  • 66% are worried on some level about surviving this crisis.
  • Over 50% said there was lack of time/capacity in finding suitable funds, and 40% said they had little capacity to write bids to reach emergency funds.
  • Organisations are asking funders to give them as much flexibility as possible. 74% said they needed projects and programme proposals to be adaptable, and 55% said they needed to divert funds to core funding.

Read more about the survey here…

Internationally, the picture is different. According to new data from the International Rescue Committee, reports of abuse have decreased by 50% in Bangladesh and 30% in Tanzania as a result of restrictions on mobility, lack of information, and increased isolation. Once restrictions are lifted, UN Women expects a significant increase in the demand for services for those who have suffered gender based violence through the lockdown periods.

Among other activities, organisations have been supporting telephone support lines and looking for safe ways to maintain data on gender based violence throughout the crisis.

Read more about this story here…