The Economic Cost of Violence survey—the result of a collaboration between Karama and its economic realm in Egypt, which is led by the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE)—was released last month, sharing that the total national cost of women’s exposure to violence exceeds 785 million Egyptian Pounds (LE) a year, over three billion LE over the last three years. Launched in 2010, the study aims to quantify the monetary cost of women’s exposure to violence as the basis of a campaign to prevent violence against women by demonstrating that the impact of violence goes beyond women and has implications for the nation as a whole.
According to the study, based on 500 families/ 1503 households distributed over four governorates in Egypt, the direct cost of violence is approximately 43 LE per adult woman. The largest contribution to this cost is street harassment, followed by the cost of domestic violence injuries. The cost of violence inflicted by the state accounts for nearly 6 LE. The indirect cost of violence, which takes into account effects such as decreased productivity and participation due to psychological impacts of violence, is nearly 800 pounds a month on average per adult woman. In considering the average monthly income for an Egyptian family, which is 1,688 LE, the total cost of violence assuming only one adult woman member of the household is over 50 percent of family income each month.
To complete this study, men, women, and children from Menya, Sohag, Cairo, and Alexandria completed questionnaires and interviews on the direct and indirect costs of violence based on their own experiences with VAW. Their responses formed a baseline in calculating a general cost estimate for 2009, the baseline year. Given current circumstances, it is likely that this cost will increase for 2012 unless major behavioral and cultural norms are address and changed.
The study provides significant evidence reminding the Egyptian government and its people that national prosperity is synonymous with women’s full participation and advancement. The direct cost of violence includes financial costs of implementing studies on the cost of violence and the cost of disruption in women’s work inside or outside of the house, while indirect costs include decrease in women’s capabilities and in their participation in the National Domestic Product and National Income. In an estimate for 2009, the direct cost of violence on the national level was equivalent to 642.3 million pounds. The indirect cost mounted to 143.667 million pounds. Added to these costs is the cost that accumulates because of increasing number of adult females and consequently the share of new families in violence. The total amount was 3,322,049 billion pounds through 2011.
A press conference sharing the findings and releasing the final report was held at the Journalist Syndicate in Cairo and convened press representatives from local and regional newspapers including Al Ahram, Al Badeel, Egyptian TV, and October Magazine.
For more on the study, please see the full report below.