Gender-based violence and harassment affects one in three women globally and negatively impacts people experiencing violence, their families, and communities and affects the business bottom line. It has financial consequences for individuals and businesses as it can increase health and safety risks, reduce employee engagement and productivity, increase absenteeism and turnover of employees, and damage public image and social license to operate.
Women and children are disproportionally affected by gender-based violence and harassment, however, men can also be affected. Risks of gender-based violence are higher for people who don’t conform to prescribed gender norms. Factors other than gender such as race, income, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or disability may also increase the risk of experiencing violence.
Private sector responses to address gender-based violence and harassment are a crucial part of a whole of community response to reduce violence and support those affected by violence.
IFC’s Respectful Workplaces Program seeks to enhance business value by addressing gender-based violence and harassment including customer and client aggression, workplace bullying and sexual harassment, domestic and sexual violence, and sexual exploitation and abuse connected to the workplace. The Respectful Workplaces program supports the private sector in emerging markets to create safe and resilient workplaces through demonstrating the business case for action, providing businesses with advisory services, resources and tools to help them address the issue.