The Covid19 pandemic movement restrictions shed more light on how vulnerable women and girls are to violence and sexual abuse within the confines of their own homes(WHO, 2021). For example, in Malawi, increased levels of teenage pregnancies were reported during the first wave of the Covid19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the extent of the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on sexual abuse and unwanted pregnancies on women and girls in Malawi has not been investigated. This study uses data on reported cases of rape and defilement from the Malawi Police and the number of women accessing post abortion care services from DhIS2 to investigate the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on sexual violence and unwanted pregnancies for women and girls in Malawi. The quantitative data is complemented by qualitative data obtained through key informant interviews with professionals from the Malawi Police and District hospitals to follow an explanatory mixed methods design (Creswell and Clarke, 2011). Findings reveal huge regional variations in the percentage change of the reported cases of rape and defilement and the number of women and girls accessing post abortion care services during the Covid19 pandemic compared to the period before. The general perspective of key informants was that there was a rise in cases of rape and defilement and the number of women with unwanted pregnancies during the Covid19 pandemic period. This study confirms that sexual abuse towards women and girls increases during periods of restricted movements but levels are likely to be underreported.
|Title of host publication||WSC Proceedings 2023|
|Publisher||International Statistical Institute|
|Publication status||Accepted for publication - 1 Jun 2023|
|Event||64th ISI World Statistics Congress: WSC 2023 - Ottowa, Canada|
Duration: 16 Jul 2023 → 20 Jul 2023
|Conference||64th ISI World Statistics Congress|
|Period||16/07/23 → 20/07/23|