Gender-Based Violence in Kosovo During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Gender-based violence (GBV), COVID-19, Women, Kosovo
COVID-19 has exacerbated health inequalities around the world. Kosovo has so far experienced four waves of the pandemic with a fatality rate of 2.6 registered deaths per 100 cases which is higher than some comparable countries in the region. Women have been disproportionally affected in many spheres of life including their safety and security at home. While Gender-Based Violence (GBV) has been one of the major concerns for women’s safety over the years, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the situation. Drawing on the theory of GBV and intersectionality and using a mixed-method approach, this study examines whether GBV cases have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether government policies and responses during the COVID-19 pandemic have considered GBV implications. This study yields three main findings: First, the institutional data on reported cases show that GBV has increased significantly between 2010 to 2021. Similar trends of increase were observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, the COVID-19 institutional actions towards the pandemic disproportionally considered the specific needs of the most vulnerable groups of the population including women. Third, violence against women is treated within the domestic violence domain which does not address entirely the nature of the gender-based violence in the country.