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June 25, 2024

Measuring the Economic Cost of Violence Against Women and Girls Workshop

UniSey’s Education and Socio-Economic Research Institute (ESERI) coordinates training workshop on Framework to measure the Economic Cost of Violence Against Women and Girls (EconVAWG).

On Monday 17th, Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th June, 2024, the Education and Socio-Economic Research Institute (ESERI) of the University of Seychelles hosted a training workshop on the Economic Cost of Violence Against Women and Girls (EconVAWG) framework and methodology. This initiative was undertaken in collaboration with the Seychelles Association of Women Promoting Education Enlightenment and Empowerment (SAWOPE) and with the endorsement of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The EconVAWG is a statistical framework used to measure the economic cost of gender violence in a given country. It can be easily adapted to measure the economic cost of other social ills, such as substance abuse, and pandemics etc. It was developed by the Commonwealth, based on data collected from the Seychelles, with the aim of providing an economy-wide modelling approach that enables governments to identify important relationships and secondary effects linked with Violence Against Women and Girls.

The Framework was first launched in the Seychelles in 2020 through Commonwealth-supported workshops in partnership with the Family Department. The target participants were statisticians, economists and analysts in the field of economics and social work. This present workshop is a refresher course for those who participated in the 2020 training and is an initiation for those who will discover the framework for the first time. The workshop has been funded by the SAWOPE, through the National Grants Program, as part of their mandate to empower women and contribute towards gender equity. The Facilitator is Dr. Gerard Adonis, a local Econometrician who has worked with the Commonwealth Secretariat from the inception of the project, on its design and implementation.

In his opening address at the UniSey Anse Royale campus, Dr. Justin Zelime, Dean of the Faculty of Arts stated:

Violence against women and girls is a pervasive violation of human rights. It affects millions across the globe, transcending cultural, economic, and geographical boundaries. Sadly, it is still very much a scourge here in Seychelles. Beyond the immediate physical and emotional trauma, this type of violence leaves profound and lasting economic consequences. It drains public resources, challenges productivity, and undermines economic growth. Today, we aim to bring these costs into focus, shedding light on the often-overlooked financial burdens borne by individuals, families, communities and governments. By doing so, we can more effectively advocate for change and implement solutions that will foster a safer, more equitable society.

A message from Mrs. Monica Pindel of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Gender and Development Section’s address was read out. She hailed the initiative and encouraged Seychelles to continue applying the EconVAWG framework using real country-level data; this has already provided a blueprint for other nations to follow. “The collaboration between the Secretariat and the Seychelles is an excellent example of such a transformative collaboration. Through the pioneering EconVAWG methodology, the Seychelles assessed the full economic impact of VAWG, going beyond direct costs to capture indirect effects. This groundbreaking work informs our understanding of the true magnitude of this crisis.”

Mrs. Betty-Mai Sopha, Chairperson of SAWOPE gave a presentation on the mandate, activities, and planned projects of the NGO, that is a chapter of FAWE (Forum for African Women Educationalists).

The workshop was attended by 18 participants from the public and private sectors and civil society.

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