Briefing 4.1 - Making the case: human rights, economic development and business arguments for eliminating gender-based violence in global supply chains

3. Gender-based violence is an obstacle to development

Gender-based violence in the world of work is an obstacle to development and implies significant costs for developing country economies. In 2015 the United Nations agreed an ambitious set of new sustainable development goals (SDGs) as a follow on from the Millennium Development Goals. The seventeen SDG goals aim to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development and prosperity.

Importantly, SDG 5 ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’ has a specific goal to “Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation” For further information about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and gender equality see:

The economic and social development impacts of gender-based violence: World Bank Group Violence against Women and Girls Resource Guide

The Violence Against Women and Girls Resource Guide (published by the World Bank Group, the Global Women's Institute at George Washington University, and the Inter-American Development Bank) provides guidance about how to address violence against women and girls through policies and legislation, sector programmes and projects and partnerships between governments and multi-stakeholder initiatives. Violence is widely recognized as hindering social and economic development as well as the achievement of internationally agreed targets such as the reduction of poverty. The resource guide argues that violence against women: “prevents women and girls from participating equally in social, economic, and political life and perpetuates the cycle of poverty.” See: World Bank (2014) Violence against Women and Girls Resource Guide:  and