Aid in action

Addressing GBV prevention and mitigation in COVID-19 times

A woman looks at the camera

To mitigate gender-based COVID-19 stigma in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Oxfam used info kits (Bluetooth speakers with audio messages) to increase women’s access to information. In the context of Cox’s Bazar, where women’s access to technology and information is significantly lower than that of men’s, reports indicate that this simple innovation is very empowering for women. Gender- and COVID-19-based stigma have been conflating, and men have used stigma against women to reinforce discrimination with messages such as "COVID-19 is coming for you because you do not pray." Having women’s group members as ‘owners’ of these info kits created an open environment and reduced misinformation. It also gave women the confidence to challenge some of the gendered stereotypes they faced.

OCHA/Vincent Tremeau