GABORONE, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called for collective efforts to fight rising gender-based violence in Africa during lockdowns to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
"We must all redouble our efforts on zero tolerance to gender-based violence as we fight this devastating COVID-19 pandemic," said SADC Executive Secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax Wednesday.
Citing the United Nations Women report, the SADC Executive Secretary said some countries around the world, particularly those highly affected by COVID-19, have registered up to 30 percent increase in reported domestic violence cases and around 33 percent increase in emergency calls for gender-based violence.
She challenged countries on the bloc to collectively seek, to sustainably empower and protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence.
"With collective efforts and commitment, we can avoid a double crisis of COVID-19 and gender-based violence, and the associated far reaching consequences to our society," Tax said.