Violence is preventable. Investing in, and prioritising, the prevention of violence against women and girls is critical for achieving positive social, economic and political impacts for all. VAWG costs countries/governments billions of dollars in healthcare and legal costs – all of which could be saved and redirected to other needs – if it were prevented. In 2016, the cost of VAWG globally was approximately US$1.5 trillion. That is approximately 2% of the global gross domestic product (GDP), or roughly the size of the entire Canadian economy. Furthermore, not enough is invested in prevention. It is estimated that investment in prevention of violence against women and girls in the past five years has totalled approximately USD 2.042 billion, which is less than 0.002% of annual official development assistance. The SDG targets provide a vehicle for more solid investments..
Unless we end violence against women and girls (VAWG) globally, we won’t achieve at least 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Evidence shows VAWG relates to poverty, hunger, poor health and well-being, maternal death, poor education, climate change adaptation, energy and environmental burdens, economic hardships, and societal insecurity. As such, ending VAWG cannot be separated from actions that help address these issues.