Addressing violence against women through social protection: A review of the evidence

In the wake of the “shadow pandemic” of violence against women and girls during COVID-19, policymakers, practitioners, and activists are searching for novel and effective ways to address violence against women (VAW), including in the context of ongoing crises and disasters. Social protection systems provide a wide range of policy tools and mechanisms that have the potential to address VAW. To date, however, this potential is largely unrealized. Policy discussions and practice on social protection and VAW remain siloed and evidence generation dispersed.

Based on a phased scoping review of peer-reviewed academic and grey literature, which captured 48 articles focused on both social protection and gender-based violence, this policy paper brings the two fields together, to identify pathways for harnessing social protection to address VAW. In doing so, the paper enables policymakers to move beyond a focus on singular social protection interventions and towards a systems perspective that opens opportunities for preventing and addressing VAW through a broad range of social protection schemes, such as multisectoral coordination, accompaniment models, and training for social protection providers.

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Publication series: UN Women policy brief series
UN Women office publishing: UN Women Headquarters
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