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The impact of violence against women and girls (VAWG) threatens not only the health and well-being of victims but also has negative impact on economic growth of communities and nations. Further, VAWG is also a significant risk to the success of other developmental outcomes, such as women’s empowerment and economic security. Growing evidence also shows VAWG is a potential unintended outcome of interventions such as microfinance when social and gender norms are challenged and begin to evolve. For these reasons, understanding the evidence of interventions designed to prevent and respond to VAWG in high-, middle-, and low-income countries is important to our work at Grameen Foundation as it informs current and future programs.
In partnership with graduate student researchers from Brigham Young University and leveraging Grameen Foundation’s own literature reviews, this short evidence review presents three different summaries that outline the current research and evidence regarding the incidences of VAWG, what is working to prevent and/or support victims of VAWG, and the evidence gaps that remain to be filled. Fulbright’s review highlights the consequences of VAWG on women’s well-being with an emphasis on the potential impact of the lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 virus. Kleinhenz and Cornia present the evidence of interventions implemented at the individual (such as microfinance), community (such as social norm change activities), and facility levels (such as school-based programs). Brown, Kim, and Stewart draw on evidence in both the United States as well as middle and low-income countries to demonstrate what has worked or not worked to prevent VAWG and also support survivors in different contexts.