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The Shadow Pandemic

The largest threat to women’s safety, rights, and freedom that we have ever faced





Donate to this appeal

A donation of £42 could keep 1 girl in school and out of early marriage.

Minimum donation is £3


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The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on women’s safety and rights, with decades of work towards gender equality at risk of being undone. The UN has called this the “Shadow Pandemic.”

“How has the Shadow Pandemic impacted gender equality in South Asia?”

  • Violence against women has increased 
    Domestic violence increased by more than double during the pandemic. With only 14% of cases of violence against women being reported, we know the figures must be much higher.
  • Job losses have been more severe for women
    Almost half of all women in India lost their job during the pandemic, compared to 7% of men - while for women in rural communities, the figure is around 80%.
  • School closures have left girls at greater risk of dropping out of school and into early marriage, child labour and trafficking
    Widening gender inequality and increasing poverty due to the pandemic means that 10 million girls are at risk of dropping out - with trafficking and child marriage rates skyrocketing due to increased financial strain.

Now the situation is very grave because these jobs have stopped and because of our caste, the local villages don't give us farming jobs on their fields.

- Day Labourer, India

“How will my donation help women and girls?”

Your donation will help fund vital work such as:

  • Form and strengthen community-based women’s and girls’ support groups, supporting girls to get back into school, and allowing cases of domestic violence to be reported safely. 
  • Organise vaccination drives for women from marginalised communities.
  • Strengthen gender sensitization at the community level, particularly local government, schools, men and women, boys’, and girls’ groups.
  • Train paralegals to provide legal advice and support to women victims of violence and seek justice.
  • Provide skills and entrepreneurship training to womens’ groups to help them rebuild their livelihoods and increase their incomes.

Watch this video to hear a group of women describe their experiences growing up in India:

Get involved today and double your donation this Christmas