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Violence against Women and its Financial Consequences for Businesses in Bolivia

Violence against Women and its Financial Consequences for Businesses in Bolivia

Bolivia is one of the countries with the highest levels of violence against women in Latin America. Considering all forms of VaW, seven out of ten Bolivian women are victims of violence. This makes it highly probable that within enterprises there are both female employees suffering from violence and male employees exercising it, not to mention colleagues witnessing these acts. Even when the VaW is not generated within the company but originates from the context of the employees’ intimate partner relationships, its impact on people’s lives has a negative effect on enterprises. In some enterprises, the management only notices one of every ten existing cases of VaW among its personnel, generally when the gravity of the violent act and its consequences for the victim cannot be ignored anymore.

VaW has a direct impact on the enterprise’s labor productivity which may show itself by tardiness, absenteeism or staff turnover, not just among the affected female employees, but also the violent male employees and those witnessing these acts of violence.

Furthermore, the invisible “presenteeism”, which refers to the reduced performance/labor productivity while showing presence at the workplace, causes the greatest costs for the enterprise. In addition, there are negative impacts on the organisational climate and the image and reputation of the company.

That is why there is a growing business interest regarding violence against women – understanding it as an important social and economic cost for enterprises which diminishes the labor productivity, life quality and personal development and well-being of both the employee and the businesses affected.

This study samples come from six business sectors: financial intermediation and insurance, information and communication, sales/trade, manufacturing industry and services. It shows that Bolivian enterprises lose a great amount of money: USD 1,976,315,648 per year due to violence against women which is equivalent to 6.5 % of the national GDP of Bolivia.

The results of the study are a strategic opportunity for the participating enterprises in particular and the business sector in general to understand how this scourge affects its personnel, the labor productivity and how it generates a significant cost and subsequent loss of profitability.

Institución:Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Autor:Christine Brendel, Irma Campos
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Marina Castro-MeirellesMarina Castro-Meirelles

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