Economic Costs of Violence against Women in Ukraine

Dr. Ganna Gerasymenko

Violence against women (VAW) has been recognized as a major violation of human rights all over the world. Importantly, every effect of VAW has some cost, whether it is direct or indirect. Direct costs of violence come from economic equivalent of goods and services, while indirect costs of VAW stem from effects that cannot be measured by monetary equivalent but have some material input (e.g. lost income). Social effects of violence also include intangible costs such as premature deaths, pain and suffering, stress and psychological trauma.
The proposed paper presents the findings of a study of the economic costs of VAW in Ukraine. The estimates have been conducted by three major categories of the economic losses, including the lost economic output, costs of VAW prevention and response services, and personal expenses of VAW survivors. To address the last category of expenses, a special survey of VAW survivors was conducted through assisting NGOs and social service providers.
Based on the simulation results, the aggregate costs of VAW could reach up to 0.23% of the country’s GDP, while the largest expenses are borne by survivors, including medical services, transportation, safe housing, legal advice, etc. Increased vulnerability of the low-income and unemployed women has been revealed. The cost-benefits analysis was conducted in terms of financing the VAW prevention efforts in Ukraine. The role of such estimations is important, as they could be used as advocacy tools to attract public attention to the problem and contribute to more informed decision-making in the field of VAW prevention and response, and strengthen the comprehensive policies on eradicating VAW in a society.