REUTERS By Maria Caspani March 18, 2015
- The Ebola epidemic in West Africa exacerbated violence against women and rolled back access to reproductive healthcare in the region, ministers from Guinea and Liberia said on Wednesday.
In Guinea, data indicates a 4.5 percent increase in cases of gender-based violence since before the epidemic including twice as many rapes, Sanaba Kaba, the country's minister of social action, women and children, said on a panel at the United Nations 59th Commission on the Status of Women.
Liberia also saw more cases of gender-based violence as a result of the outbreak, said Julia Duncan Cassell, minister of gender and development in that country.
She said some men were not respecting the recovery protocol that Ebola survivors should observe and were infecting their spouses and female partners through unprotected sex.
Sierra Leone also has seen an increase in violence against women, said panel moderator Awa Ndiaye Seck, Liberian country representative for UN Women, the agency responsible for gender equality and women's empowerment.