Gender Justice During and Beyond the COVID-19 Crisis: Institutional Responses to Gender-based Violence and the Role of Legal Empowerment Groups

The measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in gender-based violence around the world. As governments moved to limit, suspend, or digitize vital victim support services, civil society organizations – and in particular grassroots legal empowerment groups- found new ways of helping women to seek safety and justice. This report examines institutional and civil society responses to gender-based violence (GBV) during the pandemic, in particular domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV). It investigates the role of legal empowerment groups in filling justice gaps, reducing violence, improving service provision, and demanding accountability. This publication is the result of a participatory research initiative organized jointly by The Legal Empowerment Network, convened by Namati, and Themis – Gender, Justice and Human Rights (Brazil). The research was co-led and implemented by lead members of the network: the Association for the Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women – ESE (North Macedonia), the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers – FIDA(Uganda), and the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST). Este recurso también está disponible en español / Esta publicação também está disponível em português / Cette ressource est également disponible en français.