Gender-Based Violence is Costly to Both Women and Society
On 1 June 2016, in cooperation with UNFPA and the National Council for Women, The Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) launched the first comprehensive national survey to measure the spread of the different forms of gender-based violence that women and girls aged 18-64 are exposed to its effects on their general and reproductive health, and its effects on their families. It also measures the economic cost arising from violence against women, their families, society, and the national as a whole.
The executive of CAPMAS, Abu Bakr Al-Gendy, revealed that the results of the survey demonstrated that the cost of violence on women and their families alone reached at minimum 2.17 billion EGP last year whether directly or indirectly, indicating that this estimate is the cost of only the most violent cases. Al-Gendy clarified that around 7,888,000 women suffered from violence last year whether on the part of their husbands, fiances, family members, their surroundings, or public places. And when women were exposed to more than one case of violence, the total cost reaches 6.15 billion EGP. Al-Gendy added that despite the increase in total cost that women and their families pay, there is a lack of women who turn to civil society organizations or the police, as the number of women who consulted the police didn't exceed 75,000 women, with only around 7,000 consulting civil society organizations. This demonstrates a lack of awareness among women and the non-proliferation of a culture to report to these institutions.
He mentioned that despite the indicators on the cost of violence at work, they only show that the percentage of participation among women in the labor force is low, in addition to 12,200 girls withdrawing from school because of violence. The report indicated that 2.49 million women annually are exposed to harassment in the street and 1.76 million in public transportation. It also revealed that women of reproductive age are the most vulnerable as around 40% of women in the 18-64 age group have been abused. The survey clarified the importance of attention to the effects of violence on children, not just domestic violence, but also violence in public spaces.
The report indicated that violence impacts targeted women exclusively but that its effects include her children, family, community, and other women’s feelings of threat and fear from their exposure as well to violence extends to the offender himself. These effects exceed physical and psychological damage and leave their clear mark as a material cost. Awareness of the material cost arising from these practices helps to specify the true volume of the issue and its effects on society and presents a strong new dimension to understanding the legal and health-related impacts and other consequences of violence against women as well as an invitation to taking the appropriate measures.
Doctor Maya Morsi, the head of the National Council for Women, said during the conference that the results of the study represented in the economic price of violence were presented to decision-makers, which grants a greater opportunity to defining get the volume of the issue from all legal and health-related angles and then supporting policies and resolutions to reduce violence. Maya Morsi stressed that it is necessary to be aware that this violence doesn't just touch women but that it also touches their family, society as a whole, as it also sometimes tears the national social fabric, destroys peoples. She expressed her hope that the results of the study will convince decision-makers that violence against women represents productivity losses for Egypt, a waste of money and resources, and increases poverty. She mentioned that she sees that the timing of the survey’s results will contribute to establishing a more pragmatic framework to implement a national strategy to combat violence.
Findings of The Egypt Economic Cost of Gender-Based Violence Survey (ECGBVS) 2015