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Addressing Gender-based Violence (GBV) within the context of COVID-19

Addressing Gender-based Violence (GBV) within the context of COVID-19

Date and time: Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 8 to 9:30 pm Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)

Tickets here.

Experience from past outbreaks, and also current anecdotal evidence, suggests that measures put in place to help control the COVID-19 pandemic may be exacerbating the risks of gender-based violence (GBV) for women and girls.  Social distancing and quarantine measures limit the possibility for survivors to distance themselves from their abusers and also limit access to external support (e.g. social, legal, physical and mental health, etc.). It is crucial that all actors across the COVID-19 response incorporate GBV into their planning and programming. Together, actors can work to identify, address and mitigate GBV, and ensure vulnerable populations have access to information and services.  The speakers on this panel will speak about interventions and models to support survivors of GBV across the spectrum of legal and psychosocial services, both in person and remotely.

The evening will commence with a screening about The Pomegranate Project in Athens by Action for Women and will be followed by a panel discussion with speakers representing Action for Women , SAHR and Abaad. (Bios below)

The panel will be moderated by Kelsi Kriitmaa, Executive Director at Philanthropy Advisors in Geneva and a Giving Women member.

PLEASE NOTE: Login details for the webinar will be emailed out to registrants the day of the event.


Gabrielle Tay, Action fro Women

Raised in Singapore, Gabrielle studied law in the UK and afterwards moved to Switzerland with her husband until the summer of 2015. That summer changed her life. On her way back home from vacation, she saw what was happening in the Southern part of Europe, with the Syrian refugees entering the EU borders, and decided to do something about it. Her first trip was to Hungary, transporting two six-ton trucks loaded with donations received through a simple Facebook appeal. She had a first-hand experience of the stream of the displaced people arriving at the borders with Serbia, and that same year, she formed a nonprofit by the name Action for Women.

Her first journey to Greece took place in January 2016. She brought a donation of 50,000 hiking shoes for the refugees that were arriving on the Greek islands. During her stay on Chios, Gabrielle realized that the majority of the refugee women who resided on the island were marginalized and relied on the men to be their source of information. Some of them were victims of violence and were in need of a space where they would feel safe. The result was the Athena Centre for Women, the first female-only facility in Greece outside of sites and camps. Through its social pillars of safety, support, and hope, it empowers women to forge their new lives in Europe. Up to now, more than 1,000 women have been supported by the Center.


Sara Berghamaschi, SAHR

Sara leads SAHR’s advocacy and resource mobilization efforts to bring attention and funds to our sensitive and high-profile legal cases. She applies her unbridled energy and lust for life to ensure SAHR’s financial sustainability and develop long-lasting strategic partnerships. She also has pioneered SAHR’s trademark ‘Tales of Disobedience’, a unique event series at the crossroads of women’s rights and creative ARTivism.

Sara spearheads SAHR’s gender justice efforts with the UN, governments and other organizations. When deployed in complex emergency and forced displacement settings, Sara’s role is to protect the most vulnerable survivors and unlock barriers to justice by leveraging trustworthy relationships both at the local and at the highest levels, in the dance of compromise.

Previously, she worked for the Italian Embassy in Egypt, the German Development Agency (GIZ) in Morocco, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Iraq, UNOCHA in New York City and Jordan, as well as, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at the Turkish-Syrian border and in Yemen in 2019.


Ghida Anani – Abaad

Ghida is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Public Health at the Lebanese University. In 2008, she received the ‘’Excellence in Collaborative Teaching Award’’ from the American University of Beirut. As an expert in Gender-Based Violence and Child Protection, Anani has published a number of studies, articles, training kits and community educational materials on GBV & Child Sexual Abuse in Lebanon and the MENA region.

In June 2011, she founded and continues to manage ABAAD – Resource Centre for Gender Equality, which was awarded the Womanity Award. In 2014, Anani received the Women Leadership Achievement Award by The World Women Leadership Congress. She has led a number of public opinion campaigns, notably the latest #Undress522 which resulted in a historical parliamentary vote, repealing article 522 from the Lebanese Penal Code. The campaign received the “Women Rights Award” from the Beirut Bar Association and Avenir Liban and an honoring Award by the Lebanese Canadian University in March 2017. In 2019, the campaign received the first prize “UN SDG Action Award” for the most impactful campaign globally.

In 2018, Anani has been honored as part of the program “Icon of Pioneering” & “Leaders from the land of Cedars” beside a number of Lebanese leaders innovative in different sectors. She was also listed by the World Bank as one of 10 Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs Making a Difference across MENA and was featured in the Pioneers & Leaders HUB, launched by the Women as Partners in Progress (WPP) Project within the Gibran Chair for Values and Peace at the University of Maryland. Anani was among the handful of women leaders selected from the MENA region to participate in the Female Leadership Programme by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2019, she was also selected by the UN Solutions Summit organizers as one of the 10 extraordinary solution makers across the globe advancing the SDGs.

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