Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a global problem. Worldwide, it is estimated that one woman in three will experience some form of VAWG during their lifetime.

Aside from the physical and mental toll of violence, VAWG disrupts peace and stability within families, friends and communities. There is also often-unseen economic cost to societies and countries that spirals out from instances of violence against a woman or child. 

This Facilitator's Guide provides a tool to measure the financial and economic impact of VAWG throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. 

What is the Facilitators Guide?

econvawg report cover


The Facilitator’s Guide is a step-by-step guide on the Economic Costs of VAWG (EconVAWG) analytical framework and its application to assess the economic costs of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

The Guide is a tool for assessing and monitoring progress in addressing VAWG and is intended for use by researchers, practitioners, policy makers and civil society organisations.

The Guide is illustrated with real life examples from Seychelles and Lesotho, and provides, where applicable, appropriate tools for undertaking activities that will enable the costing of VAWG. 

Please Note: The Facilitators Guide is to be used in conjunction with additional documents that are provided in the annexes of the report and in the Methodology section below. These will provide context and guidance to achieve robust results. 

Download the Facilitator's Guide (PDF)





cost of vawg

Economic costs


The EconVAWG Framework is made up of five integrated steps outlined in the EconVAWG Framework box below. Each step has several actions each of which must be completed in order to provide the necessary data for the methodology, analysis and validation. 

The guide also includes guidance and customisable guidelines, tools and templates, relevant to the task of data collection, estimation of economic costs of VAWG and post-assessment phase.


Case studies


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An important finding of the costing exercise completed in Lesotho demonstrated the effects of VAWG in the society. For instance, the cost of VAWG to girls was 0.822 per cent of GDP (or learning time lost in school); the cost to adult women was around 2.780 per cent of GDP; the cost to the public sector or fiscal cost was 2.264 per cent of GDP; the cost to the private sector was 1.946 per cent of GDP; and thus the cost to the whole of society was 5.548 per cent of GDP.

It found that it impacted the health and education sector more than previously thought as the healthcare data collection in Lesotho is not able to capture the use of healthcare services by VAWG survivors. However, by using the above discussed assumptions, the report was able to estimate the cost of certain healthcare services (direct costs of medical treatment etc.) to be around M140.6 million or 0.405 per cent of GDP under the full coverage case

The use of an economy-wide model revealed some interesting implications for the private sector. Almost all of the 23 activities or sectors considered in the model were run by the private sector. Annual output loss to the private sector due to VAWG was M675.6 million or 1.946 percent of GDP. Given this high loss to the private sector, elimination of VAWG in Lesotho should also be a priority of this sector. 



Read the full case study


In the Commonwealth Secretariat study in the Seychelles, important findings regarding the impact of VAWG on the economy were found.  For instance, the cost of VAWG to girls is 0.296 per  cent  of  GDP  (or  learning  time  lost  in  school);  the  cost  to  adult  women  is  around  2.332  per  cent  of  GDP; cost to the private sector is 1.997 per cent of GDP; and thus the cost to the whole of society is 4.625 per cent of GDP.

It was found that healthcare and education need special attention, and while healthcare  data  collection  in  Seychelles  is  not  able  to  capture  the  use  of  healthcare  services  by  survivors  of  VAWG, by using assumptions, the study was  able to estimate  the  cost  of  certain  healthcare  services  (direct  costs  of  medical  treatment  etc.)  to be around SCR 115 million or 0.60 per cent of GDP, yet other healthcare services costs could not be estimated due to data limitations. These include the emotional and psychological costs of VAWG.

Although in this report, the cost of VAWG is only considered for one year (2016), these costs may continue to have a far longer impact (e.g. until the death of VAWG survivors). For instance, it is argued that the health costs will last for as long as it takes to treat longer-term health effects.

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