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The National Bureau of Economic Research’s Gender in the Economy Study Group has awarded Dr Sarah Baird, GAGE Impact Evaluation Lead, a small grant to carry out research on Covid-19 and gender-based violence experienced by adolescents.

Women, Victimization, and COVID-19 (closing date May 11, 2020; award date June 1, 2020)

The shadow pandemic: COVID-19 and violence against adolescent girls in LMICs

Sarah J. Baird, George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health
Manisha Shah, University of California, Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs

COVID-19 has rapidly disrupted the lives of individuals across the globe. Of particular concern is the ‘Shadow Pandemic’ of increased violence against women and girls. For adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), this increased risk of violence is particularly acute due to already existing poverty and gender-based inequalities, as well as decreased access to existing social safety nets including school-based resources. These short-term increases in violence are likely to persist with disruptions in education increasing pressure to marry early and unintended pregnancies, resulting in long-term consequences for the well-being of the adolescent. This proposed analysis, through the use of a rapid phone survey combined with ongoing panel data collection as part of the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence research program, will provide evidence on the near-term impacts of COVID-19 on the experience of violence by over 2,600 adolescent girls and its consequences across three diverse countries—Bangladesh, Jordan and Ethiopia—as well as across distinct contexts within each country (urban vs. rural; refugee vs. non-refugee), and other important characteristics of the adolescent (e.g. marital status). This analysis will add to the relative dearth of research on the impacts of health crises on adolescents’ exposure to violence in LMICs. Given the alarmingly high prevalence of gender-based violence faced by adolescents and young women, and its expected increase due to COVID-19, it is crucial we begin to understand the causes and consequences of violence in order to develop and advance interventions and policies to reduce this experience of violence.

For more information: https://projects.nber.org/drupal/GITE/smallgrants