The Covid-19 Pandemic and Violence Against Women in Asia and the Pacific

In the background of the global public health and economic turmoil of the Covid-19 pandemic lurks another crisis: rising rates of violence against women (VAW). The true extent of VAW amidst Covid-19, deemed the “shadow pandemic” by the United Nations, will likely never be known as incidents of violence go unreported, stifled by lockdowns and centuries-old power dynamics around the globe. Amidst the combination of overwhelmed health systems, strictly enforced lockdowns, fear of the virus, stressful economic uncertainty and increased screen time, VAW has found a sordid opportunity to thrive. This paper addresses the shadow pandemic’s reach in Asia and the Pacific.