Eighty million working women across 107 countries – a figure that is approximately 15% of the female workforce – have experienced domestic violence and abuse in the past 12 months, according to a new independent international study from KPMG commissioned by Vodafone. In Kenya, it is estimated that nearly two million working women have experienced domestic violence and abuse over this period.
The report – published ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – reveals the damaging impact of domestic abuse on careers and businesses globally. More than one third (38%) of victims surveyed said they suffered from reduced productivity while 22% said they sometimes stopped going to work or would take days off.
In Kenya, the study estimates that more than half a million (505,000) working women have taken time off work because of domestic abuse in the past year. $50 million in economic output is lost by Kenyan businesses each year as a result of being absent from work due to domestic abuse. Locally, Safaricom has partnered with Healthcare Association Kenya, a non-governmental organisation that operates a sexual and gender-based violence rapid response call centre.
“As part of our partnership with Healthcare Association Kenya, we have zero-rated their toll-free line (1195) enabling quick access to services such as the nearby hospitals and police stations as well as psychological support to victims. In the past, the Safaricom Foundation has also partnered with the Gender Violence Recovery Centre through the provision of grants to enable medical treatment and psychosocial support to survivors of gender-based violence,” said Michael Joseph, CEO, Safaricom PLC
As a result of being absent from work due to domestic abuse, in the nine countries covered by Vodafone’s survey, an estimated $2.1 billion in economic output is lost each year. Four million women also failed to be promoted as a result of domestic violence and abuse – suffering a related annual average salary loss of $2,900 per woman. This equates to approximately $13 billion in total potential earnings lost each year in the nine countries.