Decent work, safe work, and safe working conditions actually [aren’t] possible until and unless gender-based violence and harassment is prevented and eradicated…It doesn’t just affect the individual who’s targeted. It has ripple effects throughout the workplace, the community, and the economy. We can’t possibly achieve gender equality as long as gender-based violence and harassment exists. – Robin Runge
In celebration of International Women’s Day, Banyan Global hosted a virtual learning event on March 4, 2021 titled “The Economic Cost of Gender-Based Violence” for members of USAID’s women’s economic empowerment fund community of practice (CoP). The community of practice is dedicated to sharing information and resources on proven solutions that advance women’s economic empowerment and gender equality globally. The CoP is currently focusing on legal, financial, and market systems; employer practices; and social norms barriers, including gender-based violence, that impede greater economic inclusion for women. The virtual learning event highlighted the economic cost of gender-based violence to countries, businesses, and organizations. Presenters also discussed ways to mitigate against gender-based violence in the design and implementation of development activities. The event convened over 100 participants from USAID and implementing partners from all over the world and included experts in economic growth and gender inclusion and equality.
The event was moderated by Wade Channell, Senior Economic Growth Adviser for Gender, from the USAID Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Hub. Wade was joined by two expert panelists who shared studies, examples, and fascinating insights with the CoP.
Linda Scott, Emeritus DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and author of the Double X Economy. Linda is a professor and women’s economic empowerment expert sharing a wealth of research about private sector engagement and the global gender gap.
Robin Runge, Co-Director, Equality and Inclusion Department at the Solidarity Center. Robin is a lawyer and professor with over 25 years of experience developing policies, programs and laws to end gender inequality in employment by addressing sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
In a dynamic Question and Answer segment, Linda and Robin highlighted key resources and tools that are shared below. These resources, and many more, can be found on the CoP’s Resource Index. Check-out the full recording of the virtual learning event below.
- Gender-based violence and harassment is a pervasive human rights and economic issue and form of gender inequality. It can and should be addressed through programming.
- Gender equality is one of the best investments in foreign assistance and is the main driver to stronger economies and peaceful societies.
- Gender-based violence and economic exclusion is a mutually reinforcing cycle. Where there’s greater gender inequality in a society, there are also more instances of gender-based violence.
- Research on women’s economic empowerment has grown dramatically over the past decade. To help manage this vast amount of knowledge, Banyan Global compiled a USAID-funded Women’s Economic Empowerment Resource Index – a curated, open-source list of resources published by reputable institutions in the last five years. Below are a few key resources.
- Women’s Economic Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEEGE) Wiki – an online collection of resources, tools and documents.
- USAID Gender-based violence and Environment Linkages: The Violence of Inequality
- USAID Toolkit for Preventing Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response to Economic Growth Projects
- UN Women – RESPECT Women: Preventing violence against women
- Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action