Intimate Partner Violence: Economic Costs and Implications for Growth and Development

gender equality and development

Intimate partner violence: economic costs and implications for growth and development. Women’s Voice, Agency, & Participation Research Series, 2013, no.3
This paper was commissioned by the World Bank Group to help inform a forthcoming report on women’s voice, agency, and participation.

“Violence against women has significant economic costs in terms of expenditures on service provision, lost income for women and their families, decreased productivity, and negative impacts on future human capital formation.”

Data from nine countries were compared and they have found that costs of intimate partner violence are substantial, from 1-2% of GDP (gross domestic product). For a sense of what this means, they compare this to the government spending on primary education of the economies reviewed.
The paper provides a literature review on the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV)/violence against women and girls (VAWG), including health impacts, employment and productivity impacts, and the impacts of childhood exposure.
It then provides a summary of cost estimates of intimate partner violence. They do not attempt to value intangible costs.
For example costs of violence in Australia are around 8.1 billion per year in service provision, economic costs and pain and suffering.

“The analysis overall demonstrates the need to address violence against women in the process of economic development.”

They conclude with recommendations. The key recommendations for national governments:

  • Enhance capacity of policymakers, administrative officials, and program stakeholders to recognize VAWG, including IPV, as a priority Development Issue
  • Establish dedicated budget for addressing VAWG, including IPV
  • Implement a multi-sectoral and inter-ministerial response to IPV/VAWG
  • Strengthen capacity of national statistics office in data collection on IPV/VAWG
  • Strengthen capacity of frontline service providers
  • Scale up investments in primary prevention

Find the paper here

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