Most EU women blame COVID pandemic for spike in gender violence -poll

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People attend a demonstration to mark International Women's Day, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Berlin, Germany March 8, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo

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BRUSSELS, March 4 (Reuters) - Nearly three out of four European Union women think the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an increase in physical and psychological violence against them, according to a Eurobarometer poll published on Friday.

The poll, commissioned by the European Parliament ahead of Women's Day on March 8, shows 77% of women in the EU think the pandemic caused a rise in gender violence in their countries, with nine in 10 respondents in Greece and Portugal saying so.

Asked how to tackle the problem, 58% of interviewed women said it should be made easier to report gender violence.

About a third of EU women said the pandemic had a negative impact on their personal income, according to the poll, which is based on a sample of nearly 27,000 women aged 15 or more from all 27 EU countries.

"The results of the Eurobarometer survey confirm what we already know: the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women and girls in myriads of ways," said lawmaker Robert Biedron, who chairs the European Parliament's committee on women's rights and gender equality.

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Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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