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Contxto – The effects of coronavirus (Covid-19) go far beyond ventilator and face mask shortages. It’s also leading to a rise in domestic violence as families are forced to share a roof and coexist for an extended period of time.
As a result, Ecuadorian social enterprise IMPAQTO launched its “Women 2020 Hack the Crisis” competition. And it’s calling for applicants with ideas on how to reduce domestic violence triggered by Covid-19. Anyone interested has until April 19 to sign up for its two-day online hackathon.
The event will take place on April 24 and 25.
The issue: domestic violence
In Mexico, the Secretariat for Home Affairs reported a rise in 911 calls for domestic violence across the country. The number varies from state to state, but numbers have surged somewhere between 30 and 100 percent.
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What’s worse is that these numbers might not even reflect the entirety of cases. And that’s because not all households in Latin America have access to phone lines. Moreover, living in close quarters means victims may not have the privacy to make the call.
And unfortunately there are always victims who choose not to report the incident at all.
But is all of this really news?
As of March, the United Nations had already expressed its concern that Covid-19 would affect women in three ways:
1) their exposure to the disease by caring for others,
2) the risks to their sexual and reproductive health, and
3) domestic violence.
And it’s the last two points that have come to IMPAQTO’s attention.
IMPAQTO and the solution: a hackathon
The Women 2020 Hack the Crisis is addressing three challenges for the Latam region:
- The rise of domestic violence due to quarantines: Victims of violence are unable to escape their assailants.
- Limited access to products and services: Confinement may limit women’s ability to access medical services for their sexual and reproductive health, checkups, as well as pre-natal and post-natal care.
- Poor communication with the external world: Wherein victims of violence have little to no contact with legal or psychological support systems to help them. This can be attributed to the lack of WiFi at home, the absence of telephone lines, etc.
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