Experts discuss new guidelines on costing violence against women in the Arab region Skip to main content

Experts discuss new guidelines on costing violence against women in the Arab region

01
October
2018
Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut, 01 October 2018 (Communication and Information Unit) – Draft guidelines on costing violence against women in the Arab region, developed by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), were the focus of a recent meeting in Beirut on 20 and 21 September.
 
Twenty experts from the region and beyond held in-depth discussions on how to enhance the “Step by Step Guide” and identify tools on estimating the cost of violence in the Arab region, especially intimate partner/marital violence.
 
The meeting was a continuation of rigorous work undertaken by UNFPA in Egypt and by ESCWA at regional and national levels to support Arab countries’ efforts in estimating the cost of violence against women, using international experiences as references.
 
“The idea of the ‘Step by Step Guide’ is to develop a reference for Arab States in the area of costing violence against women. It will provide essential information that can guide their efforts and document cases from the Arab region as well as other countries in Europe and Asia,” said Mehrinaz Elawady, Director at the ESCWA Centre for Women, in her opening remarks.
 
Speaking about a project entitled “Estimating the Economic Cost of Violence against Women in the Arab Region” initiated by ESCWA in 2016 in partnership with UN-Women, Ms. Elawady noted that “this two-phased regional project generated a substantial body of analytical and operational findings that resulted in the production of the first tailor-made economic model on costing violence against women in the Arab region.”
 
“ESCWA worked with several of its member States to adopt and adapt this model to the national context, which is currently being implemented in Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon,” she added.
 
Estimating the cost of all forms of VAW, including physical, psychological and emotional, is an objective for Arab States, who have recognized the economic consequences of this violence on their societies, as well as the budgetary implications of due diligence requirements. Measuring the cost of VAW has been increasingly used as a tool to raise awareness and promote legislative and policy change, mainly in European and North American countries.
 
Participants discussed the importance of costing VAW and what needs to be addressed when undertaking a costing exercise. They also reflected on the various costing methodologies including the pros and cons of each one, while also sharing their personal experiences in conducting research on costing violence against women or conducting costing exercises in their countries. Representatives from the three Arab countries that were previously or are currently involved in costing exercises (Egypt, Palestine, and KSA) presented case-studies related to their countries’ experiences.
 
As an outcome, participants agreed on a detailed outline and structure which will be used to develop the complete guidelines on costing VAW in the Arab region.
 
In past years, ESCWA has published several related reports, including a study on violence against women in the domestic sphere; a study on services offered by states and NGOs to survivors of domestic violence; a study on trafficking of women and girls in the Arab region; and a report on legislation to end violence against women in the region. Other studies focused on a specific type of VAW, including one on child marriage.
 
Violence against women is a grave violation of human rights that is being addressed globally through Sustainable Development Goals 5 (SDG5) focused on gender equality and the empowerment of women. This goal contains six targets, two of which are directly related to VAW.
 

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For more information:
 
Nabil Abu-Dargham +961-70-993144email: dargham@un.org  
Ms Rania Harb: +961-70-008879  harb1@un.org
Ms Mirna Mahfouz:  +961-70-827372   mahfouz@un.org