In this consultancy, Marinella Leone is developing evidence to support arguments and recommendations made in the ActionAid report exploring the interlinkages between women’s economic inequality/ neoliberal policies and Violence against women and girls (VAWG).
After years of hard thought struggles, ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) is now part of the SDGs and officially features high on the agenda of donors, developing countries governments, and even IFIs. However, while women’s experience of violence is structurally intertwined within economic and social order, the strategies to end VAWG are usually detached from broader macro-economic frameworks, which facilitate global integration at price of skyrocketing inequality, austerity and abuse.
In fact, these are the same actors – IFIs and G20 governments – which talk loud and clear about ending VAWG, but promulgate men-led economies where women continue to live in poverty, shoulder disproportionate burden of unpaid work, continue to be concentrated in informal, precarious and least paid jobs, while being denied the right to organise – and thus being less able to prevent and/or stand up to violence at home, in public spaces, at work, and anywhere else.
Surprisingly, however, except distinctive work of few feminist economists (True, Shiva, et al), and small number of analysis exploring concrete sites of abuse (for example: violence against WHRD, abuse against domestic workers and women workers in EPZs), not much attention has been paid to highlighting such contradictions and positioning women’s economic equality as a fundamental strategy to prevent and respond to VAWG.
Building on the ActionAid UK research for the Fearless campaign and Close the Gap!, and the work by the AA Women’s Rights International Platform, this paper will outline the intersection between women’s economic inequality and VAWG, therefore providing much needed analysis for the wider NGO sector and for ActionAid internally. It will also come out timely to influence some of the key development debates: on ending violence against women and girls, reducing economic inequality between and within countries, and realising the new development agenda post 2015.