Link Between Gender-Based Violence, Ebola Transmission Must Be Recognized

Huffington Post: Ebola: The Overlooked Sexually Transmitted Disease
Mardia Stone, senior adviser to Liberia’s Ebola Response and to the Division of Global Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Lynn Lawry of Overseas Strategic Consulting Ltd.

“…Affected governments, the United Nations, and WHO have yet to recognize gender-based violence and its impending role in [Ebola virus disease (EVD)] transmission. … With women being more affected by violent acts and sexual assault, the world and blooming Ebola experts must understand the potential role gender-based violence plays in this epidemic, especially now, with the raining season spanning from May to October. Being forced to stay in close quarters due to torrential rains, boredom, and frustration may provoke sexual assaults on women. Coupled with EVD, sexual violence impacting women will pay a recurring role in this and future epidemics. The link must be made between gender-based violence, women’s lack of empowerment, and Ebola…” (5/26).