Aygaz and UN Women stand by women against increasing domestic violence during the Covid-19 lockdowns
- Aygaz, a signatory of the UN Global Compact and Women's Empowerment Principles since 2016, has partnered with UN Women Turkey to draw attention to the escalating domestic violence during Covid-19 lockdowns and the social and economic impact of this period on women by amplifying its message, “Say No to Domestic Violence!”. As violence against women is on the rise during the stay at home measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, Aygaz is taking action by involving its dealer and station network and other communication channels to support UN Women’s efforts.
İstanbul – Aygaz is a signatory of Women's Empowerment Principles, introduced by UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), since 2016 as part of Koç Group's commitments to achieving gender equality. Aygaz is now taking a series of actions to stand by women who are exposed to domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic. In partnership with UN Women Turkey, Aygaz is mobilizing its dealer and station network, Aygaz Helpline and social media channels to reach out to women.
The content prepared by Aygaz and UN Women Turkey provides information on the impact of Covid-19 measures on women’s economic and social lives, the challenges they face and the channels where they can seek help and support against domestic violence.
Aygaz dealers distribute informative brochures to their female customers regarding the escalating domestic violence in this period while emails and SMSs are sent to the women in the opted-in database of Aygaz. Women who call the Aygaz Call Center are provided information about the institutions and telephone numbers that offer support in case of domestic violence and other forms of violence. Aygaz is also partnering with Opet to place informative labels in the toilets of autogas stations.
Aygaz, who launched its first nationwide awareness campaign in 2016 by publishing the “Say No to Violence Against Women Manifesto,” is bringing this issue to the agenda by pointing to the increasing domestic violence during the Covid-19 lockdown period. Aygaz believes that violence against women is not just a women's issue but a social problem that needs to be solved and a human rights’ violation. In this regard, Aygaz aims to contribute to achieving gender equality and building a free and inclusive social and economic life.
Domestic violence on the rise!
With families staying at home in confined spaces during Covid-19 lockdowns, reports indicate that in addition to a heavier burden of care and housework on women, domestic violence cases are also on the rise. The increase in calls to the emergency helplines of women’s organizations in Turkey and Istanbul Police Department’s March data confirm this exacerbated situation. According to the mentioned data, domestic violence case in Istanbul rose 38.2% in March 2020 compared to March 2019.
A similar trend is observed across the world, with violence against women rising globally during the Covid-19 pandemic. A statement* by UN Women on April 6 points out that several countries including Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, and Australia are reporting heightened demand for emergency shelter and an increase in calls to domestic violence helplines.
The social and economic impact of Covid-19 highlighted
Aygaz draws attention to the fact that solidarity and mutual understanding is crucial during a pandemic, and aims to raise awareness in the community by sharing a variety of content, prepared in partnership with UN Women Turkey, to provide information on the social and economic impact of Covid-19 on women.
The process that the world is going through is more than just a health issue, with Covid-19 posing a threat against all segments of the society and economies. Women are disproportionately affected by the increased burden of paid and unpaid house and care work.
Pandemics like Covid-19 affect women and men differently, increasing the already existing inequalities that women and girls face in the society. Furthermore indirect and direct discrimination towards vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities and low-income segments become more visible. Women constitute 50% of physicians, 70% of nurses and 100% of midwives in Turkey, and 70 percent of all workers in the healthcare and social services sectors worldwide, all of which are working tirelessly, especially in these trying times. Women’s burden of domestic work and care is three times higher than men, this figure reaches five times in Turkey.
Aygaz, the first Koç Group company operating in the energy sector, is Turkey’s 18th largest enterprise. Since its establishment in 1961, Aygaz has maintained the leadership of the LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) industry in Turkey. In addition to distributing LPG in cylinders, as autogas and in bulk, Aygaz also produces and sells LPG pressurized containers and accessories. Operating with nearly 2,400 cylinder gas dealers and over 1,700 autogas stations as of 2019 year-end, Aygaz also exports gas devices, extending its operations across European, Middle Eastern and African markets. Through an established distribution and service network, Aygaz gas cylinders are delivered to more than 60 thousand homes and offices every day while 200 thousand vehicles per day are powered by Aygaz Otogaz, the autogas product of Aygaz. The company constantly improves the quality of its products and services by anticipating consumer needs and meets customer demands swiftly and safely.
About UN Women
UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide. It works globally to make the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for women and girls and stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life. UN Women has been active in Turkey since 2012. More information is available at: turkey.unwomen.org.