Blog: COVID-19 and Violence Against Women
Research findings from the Centre for Health Economics showcased in two World Bank policy briefs
Increases in gender-based violence were documented in many countries following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This particularly seems to have been the case where stricter social distancing measures were put in place. As the pandemic progressed, job losses and financial uncertainty for women further exacerbated the risks of gender-based violence, in particular of violence against women.
The evolution of violence against women and its drivers during the Covid-19 pandemic, both in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and specifically in Brazil, have been investigated in ‘COVID-19, social distancing and violence against women in Brazil (BRAVE)’, a joint research initiative led by IGDC Member Rodrigo Moreno-Serra, Associate Professor in Global Health Economics in the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York, in partnership with the research group Brazilian Women in Economics (hosted by the University of Sao Paulo), and which was funded by the UKRI Agile Covid-19 GCRF and Newton Fund initiative (grant number EP/V029088/1).
This initiative resulted in two policy briefs developed jointly with The World Bank. Key findings from the research are that higher increases in violence against women were identified in LMICs where Covid-19 social distancing policies were stricter, with such violence being driven mainly by economic stress and extended proximity periods between survivor and partner. These same patterns also emerged from a case study in Brazil, where higher social isolation led to an increase in the probability of femicide in São Paulo state municipalities, but where financial aid to poorer families contributed to mitigate that harmful effect.