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Short-term crisis centers for battered women organized within the framework of the UN and EU “Spot light”

BISHKEK, April 30, 2020 – The UN and European Union “Spot Light” initiative in the Kyrgyz Republic has allocated $200,000 to address the increase in violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The UN and European Union’s Ray of Light Initiative in the Kyrgyz Republic has allocated $200,000 to address the increase in violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The Ray of Light initiative addresses the immediate needs of women and girls affected by or at risk of violence in the current context of physical isolation and increasing economic and social pressures.

In Kyrgyzstan, during the quarantine period, the number of domestic violence cases increased by 65%. Compared to the same period from March 24 to April 24, there were 100 cases in Bishkek in 2019 and 162 cases this year. These data from the Interior Ministry of the Kyrgyz Republic were sent to the Commandant of Bishkek, MPs and the Ministry of Social Development of the Kyrgyz Republic. With the support of the Ray of Light Initiative, temporary crisis centers for abused women and girls were organized. In addition, technical support is being provided to the government to finalize guidance and instructions on an algorithm for a multisectoral response to gender-based violence (through health, social services, legal services, law enforcement, justice institutions and humanitarian agencies). Emergency mobile gender-based violence response teams will also be in place to support women. Psychosocial services provided online during COVID-19 and hotline referral mechanisms associated with crisis centers are being coordinated.

“For many women and girls, the threat becomes greatest where they should be safest. In their own homes. It is urgent to address the increase in violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic through the joint efforts of the Government, international partners, civil society, the media and each of us. Women’s rights and freedoms are essential for a strong, sustainable society,” says Ozonnia Ogielo, UN Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic.

“We note the rise of domestic violence and gender-based violence in these difficult times in Kyrgyzstan, so we are adapting the Ray of Light Initiative to address this problem. Together with the United Nations – our implementing partner in Kyrgyzstan – we will work with local partners among civil society and the Government to help those affected by violence and to contribute to a safe environment for women and girls,” says Eduard Auer, Head of the European Union Delegation to Kyrgyzstan.

The Ray of Light Initiative will support a civil society-led information campaign to prevent gender-based and domestic violence during COVID-19. The program will aim to raise awareness through digital campaigns on preventive measures in the context of COVID-19, conducted by youth and women activists at the local level.

The program also aims to help the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic provide improved multi-sectoral and coordinated services to survivors of violence by developing new formats to ensure seamless service delivery, including online, during quarantine restrictions.

Particular attention and support will be given to women’s access to safe spaces and the continuity of essential services during a crisis. The Ray of Light Initiative also seeks to support the government in the overall integration of gender-based violence into national response plans for COVID-19. The Initiative continues to work with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and civil society to develop more effective solutions to end violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January 2020, in partnership with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, the EU and UN launched a multi-year country program as part of the global Spotlight Initiative to end all forms of violence against women and girls. The goal of the program is to create an environment in which all women and girls in Kyrgyzstan, especially the most vulnerable, live free of violence and harmful practices, including child marriage and ala kachuu. The program includes a set of integrated policies and legislation, institutional strengthening, violence prevention, services for survivors of violence, quality data collection, and support for the women’s movement and civil society. The program is implemented by five UN agencies (UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF and UNODC) under the overall leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic.


For more information, please contact:

Aiperi Alymbekova, Communications Specialist, Ray of Light Initiative

E-mail: aalymbekova@unicef.org

Tel: +996 777 91 91 43

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