To mitigate and reduce the risks of gender-based Violence (GBV) in Cox's Bazar, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) inaugurated its first Women and Girls Safe Space (WGSS) for host communities yesterday.
IOM launched WGSS with the support of its partner PULSE Bangladesh and funding from the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Government of Japan, said a press release.
An estimated 73 percent of married Bangladeshi women have experienced domestic violence in their life, according to a 2015 study.
Covid-19 has only exacerbated these risks, with a recent report highlighting a rise in GBV, particularly intimate partner violence and child protection issues including child labour and child marriage across both Rohingya and Bangladeshi communities.
The international organisation is already operating other WGSSs across nine refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, providing life-saving information and awareness-raising activities, as well as community-level outreach activities.
Between December 2020 and January 2021, IOM GBV teams provided group-based psychosocial support to 6,820 women and girls via these spaces.
Situated in Ratna Palong union of Ukhia Upazila in Cox's Bazar, the new WGSS will serve as a place where women and girls can access resources and support to reduce the risk of GBV.
The space will also act as a vital entry point for GBV survivors looking to access information on specialised services and referrals to health, legal and protection actors.