The cost of gender-based violence globally is estimated to be around 1.5 trillion dollars. Despite efforts since the 1970s, we don’t have success stories we can point out to, we don’t see the progress that we need.
Part of the reason is that there is a link between the desensitisation of society and the low exposure to these topics. It’s not one out of three women in in Bosnia or South Africa that is subjected to gender-based violence. It’s everywhere, every country in the world. More than 90 percent of cases are never reported, the perpetrator conviction rate is about two to three percent.
The main finding of this study was that there is not enough participation in initiatives to curb gender-based violence yet. Stakeholder engagement about those issues is very low, and it doesn’t feature much on company lists of corporate social responsibility issues or investor issues.
Another interesting finding was that companies and company executives are unaware that issues of gender-based violence affect employees, including employees from affluent areas. But gender-based violence does not just occur in poor neighbourhoods. It occurs everywhere, in all companies, from low-level employees to top-level executives.
The study was a mixture of a qualitative content analysis of annual integrated reports, interviews with members of the private sector such as chief executive officers at companies and c-suite members and survey research on the general public.
The participation of employees in our surveys constituted a limitation since many did not want to participate when they saw that the questions were about gender-based violence.