Beirut, 06 September 2019 (ESCWA)--Today, ESCWA launched its Guidelines to Estimate the Economic Cost of Domestic Violence in the Arab region, closing a 2-day regional workshop on the same theme, organized in partnership with UNFPA regional office and Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).
One in every three women worldwide has experienced physical and/or sexual violence, and the rate is slightly higher at 37 per cent in the Eastern Mediterranean region, recent studies report.
In her opening remarks, the Director of ESCWA Centre for Women, Ms. Mehrinaz El Awady, said that work in this area has created momentum among Arab States that now see the benefits of understanding the economic aspect of this important issue.
“Several Arab States expressed interest to calculate the cost of violence against women bringing together all national stakeholders,” she added.
Research estimates that domestic and intimate partner violence cause more deaths and have higher economic costs that civil wars or homicides.
“Not addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) effectively costs money, not only for the individual but for the community and society as a whole,” said the Regional Programme Specialist in Human Rights and Gender at UNFPA office for Arab States, Mr. Nishan Prasana Krishnapalan.
Representatives of national mechanisms for the advancement of women and gender focal points of the national statistical offices in the Arab countries, who attended the training, used the guidelines prepared jointly with UNFPA office for Arab States and pledged to be advocates for including the economic argument when addressing violence against women.
The economic costs of domestic violence are both direct and indirect, tangible and intangible, and range from healthcare and criminal justice service costs to lost productivity for both the survivor and perpetrator. Having an estimation of these costs provides an evidence base from which the systemic impact of domestic violence on a country’s economic potential can be clearly demonstrated to government planners.
Photo credit: Ms. Jinan Moussa, ESCWA
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