In a research conducted by the United Nations Population Fund, 7 million unintended pregnancies and an increase in sexual violence and underage marriage are expected by the United Nations Population Fund, as part of response efforts to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the research, 47 million women from 114 countries may not have access to family planning methods, which will lead to 7 million unintended pregnancies if the closure continues for another six months. Moreover, with every three months added to the closure, it is expected that two million women will not be able to obtain contraceptives.
The organization expected an additional 31 million cases of sexual violence, if the closure continues for another six months, noting that with every three months of closure, an additional 15 million cases are expected.
Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, said that the new data shed light on the catastrophic impact of Covid-19, whose repercussions will soon appear on women and girls around the world, noting that the pandemic deepens inequality, with the risk of losing millions of women and girls the ability to organize Family and protect their bodies and health.
With the closure continuing, UNFPA fears that disruptions in programs to protect young girls, especially from the specter of circumcision and young marriage, will occur.
The Fund expects disturbances in female circumcision prevention programs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which leads to two million cases of circumcision during the next decade, which could have been avoided, in addition to the disturbances that Covid-19 will cause in efforts to reduce underage marriage, and it is expected that 13 million child marriage cases between 2020 and 2030 could have been prevented.
The Fund’s expectations are an important indication of the importance of putting the needs of women and girls of reproductive age at the forefront and the urgent response to them.
It should be noted that this research was conducted by the United Nations Population Fund, with the contribution of Johns Hopkins University in the United States, Victoria University in Australia and Avenir Healt.