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Gender violence costs SA

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As South Africa marked the last day of the 16 Days of Activism on Wednesday, analysts say gender violence has a negative impact on our already ailing economy. The impact is an estimated 1.3% of South Africas GDP annually, according to Laura Brooks, a consultant at KPMG.

“We tried to cost the impact of gender based violence on the economy… we were also careful to not reduce the human experience to a financial cost,” says Brooks.

Brooks said it was sad to see that a financial cost must be taken in order for people to take gender violence seriously. The figure was announced in Parliament, amounting to an estimate of R42.4 billion.

Although assumptions were made in the study, Brooks said they were conservative. She was firm in saying that even though the data was limited they did not shy away from the study.

“The study has happened before but in Australia 2009 and the study was more comprehensive. It was quite a surprise to people when they found out about the study. This is the first study of its kind in South Africa part of the reason was we don’t track the financial implications on gender violence… we would love to see more research coming from it.”

However private entities can also do a substantial amount to assist in gender violence to avoid cost implications on the economy.

“I think all private entities need to think about this inwardly and outwardly. Inwardly, the experience of your own and outwardly, how a company can contribute in CSI initiatives. Programmes of mentorship, support and equal salaries can also be implemented.”

She also said the private sector can be involved in many ways to create a conducive environment.  SAPA

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