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Though their UN Trust Fund-supported project ended just before the pandemic began, SAHAYOG has since continued to build on the project’s achievements and adapted its work to meet the new challenges posed by COVID-19 to ensure the most marginalized women and girls can find help.
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In response to COVID-19, staff at the Woman Forum Elbasan (WFE) in Albania immediately began to work from home and adapt their services for survivors of domestic violence, all too aware of the sharp increase in violence against women and girls worldwide occurring during the pandemic.
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Shelters for Abused Women and Girls and EMPOWER, two UNTF EVAW grantees in Albania and Malaysia are working to ensure the safety of LBT women and girl survivors of violence. Their stories are told today to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 May.
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As the current COVID-19 global pandemic spreads through the world, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund), and its grantees, recognize the gender dimensions of the impact from the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes an increased burden of care for women, risk of increased levels of domestic violence and a decrease in the ability of service providers to respond to cases of violence. In this challenging time, the need to respond to the immediate and long-term consequences of the current crisis for women and girls is critical. The UN Trust Fund remains committed to its partners in the field who are essential in serving those who are too often left behind, and recognizes the critical role of women’s networks and women’s organizations.
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“Thanks to this programme I am better equipped to deal with [the] LBT community needs and help women who are victims of violence .” Flavia Tiona*, psychology specialist in Shkodra Lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) women in Albania experience high levels of violence in families, the public space, and state institutions. Data indicates that one in four women in Albania has experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime.