IMPACT OF COVID 19 PANDEMIC ON CONFLICT AFFECTED WOMEN AND GIRLS
The present report provides results of research conducted by the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on conflict affected women and girls, to evaluate local safety policy in this regard and to identify the needs of women and girls living in collective centers, near the dividing line and in the occupied territories.
As part of the monitoring, interviews and focus groups meetings were held with the conflict-affected women and girls, representatives of international organizations and, international missions; also with the non-governmental organizations, working on the peacebuilding process.
The results of the study shows that the needs of women and girls affected by conflicts are different and depends on social and economic factors. The state has not studied their needs, or developed intersectional approaches, which is critically important because of security risks, such as the possibility of renewed armed conflict or the global pandemic of COVID-19.
Measures taken by the state to respond to the increased risks of violence against women and domestic violence during the pandemic were not specifically tailored to the needs of women and girls affected by the conflict. As a result, the pandemic, on the one hand, aggravated the domestic violence situation and, on the other hand, made it difficult for the victims to escape from the violent environment. Restrictions on pandemics have led to the isolation of the perpetrator and the victim in one space.
We express our hope that the research findings and recommendations will help the state with policy planning in response to the pandemic and the process of its implementation.
The research was conducted by the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia with the technical support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) within the project “Expanding agency and voice and improving the socioeconomic outlook for conflict-affected women during the COVID-19 crisis”.