Gender-based violence (GBV) is widespread around the world, in rich societies and in poor. It can take many different forms: physical, sexual, emotional, and economic. Gender-based violence takes places in homes, communities, schools, and workplaces. While no single person should have to experience violence, the evidence shows that GBV is widespread.
According to a 2013 World Health Organization study, more than 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Gender-based violence is a human rights violation, but it also has broader repercussions for development. The economic costs of lost productivity due to domestic violence conservatively range from 1.2 to 2 percent of GDP—about most governments’ spending on primary education in developing countries.
To date, there are only a few World Bank impact evaluations related to GBV. Further, evidence reviews show that there are far too few rigorous impact evaluations on the topic in developing contexts generally. There is some evidence from the World Bank that multi-component programs have the ability to reduce the risk of GBV and help women cope with violence. Gender-based violence will be a focus area for future World Bank evaluations.
Issue brief: Gender-Based Violence Prevention: Lessons Learned from World Bank Impact Evaluations
Relevant outcomes: domestic violence (emotional, physical, sexual, economic), sexual abuse or harassment, traditional practices harmful to women, female homicide, human trafficking, mental or physical health consequences of exposure to violence, child sexual abuse, help-seeking or reporting behaviors, norms or attitudes related to GBV