Project Details


Violence against women (VAW) is a blatant violation of human rights and a serious public health problem with significant impacts on the economy and development of countries. There is no country free of VCM, so its eradication is a global concern and a goal of sustainable development. During the last four decades, many States have created various mechanisms for attention and prevention against it. However, the problem is so complex and prevalent that it requires the joint participation of all institutions of society. Companies can be powerful allies in prevention, as they have the power, resources and influence, as well as many conditions specific to their organization to generate sustained behaviour change. An effective way to involve them is by generating scientific evidence that demonstrates the high impact that VcM has on the productivity of their workforce and how profitable business prevention can be to mitigate those costs. Some progress has already been made in this regard. The business costs of VcM have been measured in countries with low competitiveness, both in South America (Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay) and in Africa and Asia (Ghana, South Sudan, Pakistan). However, there is still a lack of evidence of what the economic impact is on the added value of companies located in highly competitive countries, where the macroeconomic, innovation and market scenarios are more favorable. In Latin America, Mexico and Colombia are among the five most competitive countries (World Economic Forum) and with the highest business sustainability and growth (Dow Jones ranking). Despite this, VcM is still very prevalent. According to official statistics, 66.7% of women in Colombia (2015) and 43.9% of women in Mexico (2016) have at some time been assaulted by their partner or ex-partner, either psychologically, physically and/or sexually. Measuring the business costs of GBV in these two countries is a necessity to strengthen the prevention arguments from the private sector. However, there are a series of barriers that make this difficult. The main one is the lack of specialized human resources to carry out this type of research, since it requires the integration of knowledge from the social sciences, such as gender theory and knowledge about the dynamics of VCM, with knowledge from management and business dynamics proper. More than 60 investigations in the world have measured some dimension or aspect of the economic and social costs of violence against women. Almost all of them come from high-income countries, focusing on the direct costs reported to the state or the individual costs to the women who are attacked. However, the situation is different for Latin American countries, and there are knowledge gaps in terms of measuring the costs of GBV to the business sector, microenterprises and organizations in general.
Since 2011, the Universidad de San Martín de Porres in Peru, together with the German Cooperation GIZ, have developed effective methodologies to involve the private sector in these research processes. Their multicenter studies in Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru have shown that VcM has a high cost for companies, since it decreases their labor productivity (Vara-Horna, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018; ComvoMujer, 2015). As a result of these studies, more than 400 have become involved in the cause and, even in Paraguay and Peru, government seals and labels have been created to recognize committed companies, in addition to legislation favorable to the workers who have been assaulted, and proven models of prevention that are profitable for the companies. In view of the above, it is advisable to take advantage of the lessons learned by generating a South-South cooperation for the decentralized development of research capacities in the field. The proposed project seeks to form research teams in Colombia and Mexico to measure the business costs of MV in each country, in a decentralized and comparative manner. These teams, coming from the business academy, would be trained and directed by the Universidad de San Martín de Porres in Peru, ensuring the transfer of knowledge and lessons learned in the research process.


The results will be reflected -mainly- in two research reports: "The business costs of violence against women in Colombia" and "The business costs of violence against women in Mexico". These base publications will give rise to 1) executive summaries for mass dissemination in business groups, 2) at least two academic articles in English, to be published in open access scientific journals indexed in Scopus, 3). Press releases.
Effective start/end date2/1/191/31/21

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Main Funding Source

  • International


  • Bogotá D.C.


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.