The Correlates of Violence against Women and Surveillance of Novel Coronavirus (COVID -19) Pandemic Outbreak Globally: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Eyayu Kasseye Bayu


Background: COVID-19 is a serious global pandemic with more than 1 million confirmed cases and 64,000 deaths. Cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are rapidly increasing and infected millions globally. Violence against women and girls is also a global human rights violation and public health problem in lockdown period.

Methods: A systematic review of studies were conducted to show the relationship between impacts of COVID-19 and violence against women, and their impacts on women’s health and human rights globally. The systematic selection of case reports, clinical trials, health institutions guidelines (e.g. WHO, CDC), review reports by experts, commentators reports, editor’s letters, and available indexed articles/journals were undertaken. The author conducted the literature search on March 20 up to 02 May2020, where existing quantitative and qualitative data are included in this review.

Results: COVID-19 is a serious global pandemic with more than 1 million confirmed cases and 64,000 deaths. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the fastest-moving global public health crisis in a century, causing significant mortality and morbidity and giving rise to daunting health and human rights violations. As the findings demonstrate, there is an increase of violence during the period of lockdown. As a result of COVID-19, violence against women can result in injuries and serious physical, economical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems, including sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unplanned pregnancies in lockdown. Hence, the health and human rights of women generally is adversely impacted globally due to COVID-19.

Conclusions: As COVID-19 pandemic deepens economic and social stress coupled with movement restriction and social isolation measures, gender-based violence is increasing exponentially, and trap women and girls. The physical and psychological costs of violence against women and girls are substantial. Globally, the estimated global cost of violence against women and girls is 1.5 Trillion women where nearly 1/2 amount of the world population in lockdown due to COVID-19. Hence, it has a relationship of violence against women and girls and surveillance of COVID-19 outbreak globally. In line with problems identified, civil society organizations and governments should work collaboratively with the whole society at home, institutions and public in general.

Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Sexual & reproductive health; Violence against women

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-21-01

Publication date: November 30th 2020

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