The Imperative to Invest: Quantifying the Impact of Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls

by Shruthi Jayaram Dalberg Advisors

This article is a part of the Invest with Women: Strategies to Accelerate Progress series.

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a pervasive and grave violation of women’s human rights that is inextricably intertwined with broader issues of stability and prosperity. Globally, 700-750 million women and girls aged 15 and older (1 in 3) have been subjected to violence. Likely more. It takes the form of—for example—domestic violence in the home, sex trafficking of children, and sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. It occurs in public and private spaces. And it is often a precursor to other forms of violence and conflict. Yet, it is one of the most underfunded issues of our time, treated as an individual and private matter versus a public health emergency.

The Imperative to Invest report, authored by Dalberg, is an effort to better align the discourse on addressing VAWG with the impact of doing so. It uses data from the Spotlight Initiative (the world’s largest coordinated and comprehensive effort to address VAWG and the largest single investment in this issue) as well as over 100+ impact evaluations and 100+ articles that link VAWG to the SDGs to create quantitative estimates of the forward-looking impacts of large-scale investments in VAWG. We find, for example, that investing in comprehensive models such as the Spotlight Initiative can prevent 21 million women and girls from experiencing violence by 2025, which will have positive effects on school enrolment, earnings potential, health, and many other SDGs.

“Violence against women and girls is gendered. It often occurs because we are women and girls. The Imperative to Invest report shows the power and promise of investing in comprehensive approaches to end such violence—both for women’s human rights and for accelerated progress towards the SDGs.”

Shruthi Jayaram
Partner, Dalberg Advisors




Read more: Imperative to invest: How addressing violence against women and girls today reduces violence over time, fosters peace and stability, and enables people to reach their full potential—all of which advances us towards the SDGs 

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