In the global North and South, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and caused an increase in physical, structural and economic violence experienced by women.
Amanda Dale, Chair of the Inter Pares Board of Directors, is an academic and international human rights activist. She emphasizes that Canada is no exception when it comes to violence against women, a pandemic even more prevalent among Indigenous women.
In El Salvador, La Colectiva Feminista para el Desarrollo Local, an organization that confronts violence against women and advocates for the recognition of their rights, also noted an increase in gender-based violence during the lockdown, as well as an escalation of militarized, repressive government control.
It is difficult to see a positive future when discussing gender-based violence. One can hope that this crisis will lead to new forms of intersectional feminist advocacy. Amanda Dale says that such advocacy must demand that tackling the gender-based violence pandemic be made a priority, now that it has been demonstrated that coordinated government efforts are possible.
The pandemic is also making it necessary to find new ways to reach isolated women. To this end, La Colectiva has set up new telephone lines to offer women psychological and legal support.
The lockdown has given rise to new spaces for international solidarity, such as webinars, which bring together women who are sometimes isolated but share the same feminist struggle. Amanda Dale says, "More than ever, we are in contact with women all over the world. Organizations like La Colectiva Feminista demonstrate the determination and positivity that all women must hold on to so to avoid falling into despair and inaction".
More than ever, we are in contact with women all over the world. Organizations like La Colectiva Feminista demonstrate the determination and positivity that all women must hold on to so to avoid falling into despair and inaction.