10:30—12:00 PM EDT

Gender Based Violence in a Pandemic: Evidence to Inform Prevention and Response


  • Diana J. Arango, Senior Gender-Based Violence and Development Specialist, World Bank Group
  • Erica Field, Professor of Economics and Global Health, Duke University and J-PAL Affiliate
  • Felicia Knaul, Director, Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas & Professor, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami; Chair, Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People
  • Megan O’Donnell, Assistant Director, Gender and Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Development


  • Akshara Gopalan, Policy Associate, J-PAL

About this event

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in three women worldwide experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly perpetrated by an intimate partner. In recent times, lockdowns to prevent the spread of the disease have restricted women’s mobility, increased economic strain and familial stress, and exacerbated the threat of violence. A “shadow pandemic” of gender-based violence (GBV) has emerged, with some recent data showing increases in reports of GBV across the world. Responding to GBV can be challenging, particularly in a time of crisis when governments and practitioners are working to simultaneously address a range of issues, from public health concerns to economic repercussions. Overcrowded health systems and the necessities of social distancing can also make responding to GBV particularly challenging.

What are some broad challenges that donors and policymakers are grappling with in addressing GBV during the pandemic? What can research tell us about how the pandemic and lockdown influence the prevalence of GBV? What are some actionable policy measures that can be taken to prevent and respond? This webinar, co-hosted by the Center for Global Development and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), will explore some of these questions and share insights from research that might be useful to practitioners as they work towards preventing and addressing GBV during the pandemic.

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