Press Release

The Americas: State responses to COVID-19 should prioritize the protection of women and girls

It is vital that the responses of governments in the Americas to the COVID-19 pandemic take into consideration the specific risks that women and girls in the region face in the current crisis and include differentiated measures

  • Date: 15/04/2020
The Americas: State responses to COVID-19 should prioritize the protection of women and girls

April 15, 2020 - It is vital that the responses of governments in the Americas to the COVID-19 pandemic take into consideration the specific risks that women and girls in the region face in the current crisis and include differentiated measures to ensure that the pandemic does not increase existing inequality and vulnerability in the region, said Women's Link Worldwide, Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR) today.

The organizations published a document today with a series of recommendations to governments in the region that acts as a roadmap for government and other public authorities at a national and local level in terms of their human rights obligations to protect the rights of women and girls during the pandemic.

“It is in moments of crisis such as the one we are facing that women and girls suffer the greatest violations of their rights. Therefore, now more than ever, as organizations we must ensure that their fundamental rights and access to justice are respected and guaranteed. These guidelines are a roadmap to allow us to carry out this monitoring and advocacy work and demand that governments comply with their obligations and maintain their commitment to the rights and lives of women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Viviana Waisman, President & CEO of Women's Link Worldwide.

“Women and girls in the Americas already face the worst rates of gender-based, sexual and domestic violence in the world and now, in the context of COVID-19, their welfare is even more threatened. Our governments must act urgently to avoid the increase of gender-based violence during this crisis, and then eradicate it for good,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

“Sexual and reproductive health services are now out of reach for many women and girls in our region. We cannot allow this to continue: containing COVID-19 is no excuse for abandoning them, in fact, it’s a reason to prioritize them,”Guevara-Rosas concluded.

“Our experience working with organizations in the Americas and the Caribbean has shown that the effects of this pandemic on those who are most vulnerable can be compared to the effects of a humanitarian crisis. It is therefore essential that, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, sexual and reproductive health services are included as essential health services. In order to achieve this, we remain ever more dedicated to defending human rights and to our partner organizations, to guarantee that women and girls have access to the resources and care that they need,” said Giselle Carino, CEO and regional director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region.

Download the guidelines:

Guidelines for protecting the rights of women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic: click here

Contact for media:

Cristina Sánchez Velázquez

c.sanchez@womenslinkworldwide.org

Tel. +34 669 464 490

About Women's Link Worldwide

Women’s Link Worldwide is an international organization which uses the power of the law to promote a social change which promotes the rights of women and girls, especially those facing multiple forms of discrimination.

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