Lockdown rage: Gender-based violence during COVID-19

| November 7, 2021

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November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In keeping with this, our Script of the Week focuses on the increase in gender-based violence widely reported during COVID-19.

Gender-based violence is an act, or the threat of an act, that causes physical, psychological /emotional, economic, or sexual pain or injury to a person because of that person’s gender.

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened pre-existing gender inequalities and power hierarchies. To prevent widespread transmission of the virus, there have been quarantines, lockdowns, restrictions on movement, and bans on public gatherings. While these measures are important for public health, they have led to increased occurrences of sexual and gender-based violence in communities and among vulnerable people.

Coupled with limited access to essential services such as shelters and hotlines, this has created a situation where gender-based violence is thriving in many communities in Ghana. These challenges make it necessary to educate people of Ghana on gender-based violence, so that the abused are aware of the services available to them, and the necessary steps they need to take in order to free themselves and get justice.

In this fictional drama, Foriwaa and her children are subject to abuse from Foriwaa’s husband, Daniel, who, after losing a percentage of his salary due to the COVID-19 pandemic, takes out his frustrations on his wife and children.

He tries to marry off his under-aged daughter to make money, and he takes advantage of the lockdown situation to abuse his wife. This play depicts the horror of abuse in the home, the effect it has on children, and the need to report perpetrators in abusive situations.

The drama contains five scenes, varying in length from 4-7 minutes. The drama script is available in English, French, Swahili, and Amharic.