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Verdana 28 pt. The Nexus of Livelihoods and SGBV UN-CSW Side Event, March 12,2013, Mara Russell of Land O’Lakes International Development. Livelihoods are Impacted by SGBV. Reduction of women’s self-esteem and agency needed to make independent decisions

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Verdana 28 pt

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Verdana 28 pt

Verdana 28 pt

The Nexus of Livelihoods and SGBV

UN-CSW Side Event, March 12,2013, Mara Russell of Land O’Lakes International Development


Livelihoods are impacted by sgbv

Livelihoods are Impacted by SGBV

  • Reduction of women’s self-esteem and agency needed to make independent decisions

  • Loss of essential assets (capital), which are the “building blocks” of livelihoods:

    • Human Capital: health, education, skills

    • Productive Capital: tools and owned/managed resources that enable livelihoods

    • Social Capital: relationships within a community or society that enable commerce

    • Financial Capital: monetary wealth that enables investment in other types of capital (human capital, productivity)

    • Natural Capital: natural resources that support lives and livelihoods


Asset stripping essential to sgbv

Asset Stripping: Essential to SGBV

  • “Asset Stripping” (In the context of disasters and conflicts):

    • Unsustainable sale of assets at a loss

    • Depletion of natural resources or assets due to high degree of exposure to a shock or disaster

  • SGBV in a woman’s life can be equivalent to the impact of a disaster!

  • It doesn’t just impact a woman’s life, but an entire household (and may have community impacts)

  • May underlie chronic poverty


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What is lost with SGBV: Assets needed for livelihoods

Productive Capital

Human Capital

Financial Capital

Social Capital

Natural Capital


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Asset Stripping: Essential to SGBV

  • Loss of Human Capital:

    • Negative impacts on women’s and children’s physical and mental health; handicaps - women’s inability to care for children, illness, depression in women reduces agency and self-esteem

  • Loss of Productive Capital:

    • Theft of land, livestock from widows(Izumi, 2007), access to land (sometimes children) removed due to divorce, return of bride price by parents of SGBV accusers (ACFODE, LVCT, 2012)


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Asset Stripping: Essential to SGBV

  • Social Capital:

    • Both intimate partner and public violence against women requires impunity, acceptance and protection of perpetrator, divorce may result in isolation and loss of social connections

  • Financial Capital:

    • SGBV has been found to be positively correlated to women’s employment (Morrison and Orlando, 2004)

    • Uptick in SGBV at harvest in Zambia – arguments over use of funds from crop sales

    • Women who travel for business are vulnerable

    • SGBV increased with promotion of savings & loan groups in Bangladesh (Kelkar, 2005)

    • SGBV did not automatically decrease with microcredit interventions (Kim, et. al., 2007)

    • Sexual harassment continues in work places throughout the world


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Asset Stripping: Essential to SGBV

  • Natural Capital:

    • Conflicts over grazing rights, water, and depletion of natural resources due to unsustainable activities impact women’s ability to engage in livelihoods and care for their families


Cause rights roles responsibilities

Cause: Rights, Roles, Responsibilities

“Unequal gender relations distribute the burden of poverty disproportionately on women. They can also be the cause of poverty among women and girls in non-poor families. These unequal relations…need to be addressed both as a cause and as a factor in the intensification of poverty.” (Kelkar, 2005)


Ensuring sustainability requires a shift in underlying power relations

Ensuring Sustainability Requires a Shift in Underlying Power Relations

  • Providing credit, assets and training to women will not matter if they continue to be victims of SGBV:

    • Essential: build women’s agency and self-esteem

    • Essential: build respect among intimate partners, male community members and leaders

    • Essential: women in leadership roles, act as role-models for girls


How to bring about the shift

How to Bring About the Shift

  • Ensure women have a support group: A “women’s group” they can work and grow with: Care Groups, Coops or Production & Marketing Groups, Saving & Loan Groups

  • Foster education, training and attainment for girls and women on par with men’s & boy’s:

    • Train men and women together

  • Ensure women’s participation in decision-making: in communities, coops, businesses, and government

  • Shift ownership patterns so that “his” and “hers” become “ours”

  • Build access to justice and redress


Dare to challenge culture

Dare to Challenge Culture!


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Productive Capital

Human Capital

Financial Capital

Social Capital

Natural Capital


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