Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a widely recognised human rights violation with serious consequences for the health and well-being of women, with ramifications for households, businesses, communities and society overall. Even though violence against women is widely accepted as a fundamental human right and public health issue, its wider impact on development is being recognised only recently. There are only few studies that estimate the costs of VAWG.
It is well established that violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a human rights violation and public health issue. Worldwide, one in three women report experiencing some form of physical and/or sexual violence, predominantly perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner, over their lifetime (WHO 2013). More recently, there is a growing recognition of the wider economic and social costs of VAWG for individuals, the community, businesses, society and the economy.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a widely recognised human rights violation with serious consequences for the health and well-being of women and their families. However, the wider ramifications of violence against women for businesses, communities, economies and societies are only recently being recognised. Despite this recognition, there are few studies exploring how economic and social impacts of VAWG affect economic growth, development and social stability. In this paper, applying the social accounting approach, we outline the ripple effects of VAWG from the individual micro-level impacts to the macroeconomy.
Stern, E., & Mirembe, J. (2017). Intersectionalities of formality of marital status and women’s risk and protective factors for intimate partner violence in Rwanda. Agenda, 31(1), 116-127.
Findings from DRC project on Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls
The primary audience for this document is policymakers. Programme implementers working on preventing and responding to violence against women will also find it useful for designing, planning, implementing, and monitoring and evaluating innterventions and programmes.
Gibbs, A., Jewkes, R., Willan, S., Al Mamun, M., Parvin, K., Yu, M., & Naved, R. (2019). Workplace violence in Bangladesh's garment industry. Social Science & Medicine, 112383
McGhee, S., Shrestha, B., Ferguson, G., Shrestha, P. N., Bergenfeld, I., & Clark, C. J. (2019). “Change Really Does Need to Start From Home”: Impact of an Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Strategy Among Married Couples in Nepal. Journal of interpersonal violence, 0886260519839422.
Gibbs, A., Myrttinen, H., Washington, L., Sikweyiya, Y., & Jewkes, R. (2019). Constructing, reproducing and challenging masculinities in a participatory intervention in urban informal settlements in South Africa. Culture, health & sexuality, 1-16.
Corboz, J., Gibbs, A., & Jewkes, R. (2019). Bacha posh in Afghanistan: factors associated with raising a girl as a boy. Culture, health & sexuality, 1-14.
Alvarado, G., Fenny, A. P., Dakey, S., Mueller, J. L., O’Brien-Milne, L., Crentsil, A. O., ... & Schwenke, C. (2018). The health-related impacts and costs of violence against women and girls on survivors, households and communities in Ghana. Journal of public health in Africa, 9(2).
Javalkar, P., Platt, L., Prakash, R., Beattie, T., Bhattacharjee, P., Thalinja, R., ... & Davey, C. (2019). What determines violence among female sex workers in an intimate partner relationship? Findings from North Karnataka, south India. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 350.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is widely recognised as a violation of human rights and a challenge to public health. VAWG also has economic and social costs that have not been adequately recognised. These costs not only impact individual women and their families but ripple through society and the economy at large. The threat VAWG poses to the social fabric of the country and its impacts on economic development have not been adequately investigated, analysed or quantified in Pakistan.
For over 40 years, Afghanistan has experienced ongoing conflict and insecurity. This insecurity has increased in recent years, exacerbating household poverty and further entrenching women’s subordinate position in the home [1, 2]. Afghanistan remains a deeply patriarchal and heteronormative society with strict codes of gender segregation and policing of women’s mobility and sexuality. Women’s economic autonomy is severely limited and many women experience intimate partner violence (IPV). The International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in 2018, conducted nationally, found that in the past year half (49.6%) of married women in Afghanistan had experienced physical IPV, and two-thirds (69.7%) had been stopped from working outside the home .
Women for Women International aims to create a world in which every woman can determine the course of her life and reach her full potential. We have worked with half a million women across eight conflict-affected countries since 1993.
We serve the most marginalized women in conflict-affected countries – as they are the most at risk to be left behind – and help them move from isolation and poverty to self-sufficiency and empowerment.
Willan, S., Kerr-Wilson, A., Parke, A., & Gibbs, A. (2019). A study on capacity development in the “What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women” programme. Development in Practice, 1-12. doi:10.1080/09614524.2019.1615410
Gibbs, A., Hatcher, A., Jewkes, R., Sikweyiya, Y., Washington, L., Dunkle, K., ... & Christofides, N. (2019). Associations Between Lifetime Traumatic Experiences and HIV-Risk Behaviors Among Young Men Living in Informal Settlements in South Africa: A Cross-Sectional Analysis and Structural Equation Model. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 81(2), 193-201.
Addo-Lartey, A., Ogum Alangea, D., Sikweyiya, Y., Chirwa, E., Coker-Appiah, D., Jewkes, R. and Adanu, R. (2019). Rural response system to prevent violence against women: methodology for a community randomised controlled trial in the central region of Ghana. Global Health Action, 12(1), p.1612604.
Changes Over Time in Women’s Experiences of Violence & Wellbeing
Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) has quickly become one of most widely used modalities of aid in humanitarian crises. In humanitarian contexts, cash assistance has been shown to have significant positive impacts on food security and basic needs for households, helping them to withstand conflict-related economic shocks and market fluctuations, and reducing their reliance on negative coping.
Humanitarian cash transfer programming has become one of the most widely used modalities of aid in humanitarian crises. This International Rescue Committee (IRC) study is among the first to explore the potential impact that cash transfer programming may have on violence against women and girls (VAWG) in acute settings. In conflict and emergency settings, women and girls are vulnerable to increased violence, exploitation, and harm to their physical and mental health.
This report summarises the key findings of the What Works to Prevent Violence: Economic and Social Costs project relating to Pakistan. It provides an overview of the social and economic costs of violence against women and girls (VAWG) to individuals and households, businesses and communities, and the national economy and society. Findings show the heavy drag that VAWG imposes on economic productivity and wellbeing, and the need to invest urgently in scaling up efforts to prevent violence.