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Barbados has united with 144 United Nations (UN) Member States and Observers to end domestic violence, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The call, which was issued by UN Secretary General, António Guterres, on Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19, has urged signatories to ensure that prevention and redress are a part of their national COVID-19 response plans.

Mr. Guterres stressed: “Now more than ever, there needs to be zero tolerance for domestic violence.”

A UN statement on the matter outlined: “As more countries report infection and lockdown, domestic violence helplines and shelters around the world are reporting rising calls for help. Victims and survivors have no means of escape when violence occurs in the place they are being told to take shelter ….”

Mr. Guterres also encouraged countries to pay tribute to social and healthcare workers, recognizing that the majority of them are female, in addition to civil society organizations, UN Women and related UN agencies for their role in tackling this crisis. 

“Women are not just victims. They play a major role in the response against COVID-19. Nearly 70 per cent of frontline health and social workers are women. Women also shoulder a disproportionate share of unpaid care work and they are critical actors in the sustainable development of all countries.  We must, therefore, ensure women are included in all response and recovery decisions. This is the only way to “build back better” for everyone. We are all united to say NO to domestic violence! End violence.” 

You may click here to download the statement – Answering the UN Secretary-General’s Call on Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19.


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