The Impact of Gender-Based Violence in an Organization and its Implications on Productivity

The impact of Gender-based Violence at workplace

Executive Summary

Violence against women may mean any gender-based act that is likely to cause physical, sexual, or emotional harm or suffering to women. These may include threats or acts such as coercion or being deprived of liberty in private or public life. In this document, we address the Impact of Gender-Based Violence in an Organization and its Implications on Productivity.

General Assembly Resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993, Article 1 


The majority of women face various types of gender-based violence in the workplace. Most of these women experience gender discrimination in diverse forms, which include physical, mental, or sexual harm/suffering with far-reaching implications. Such acts are under-reported due to social stigma, economic conditions, and illiteracy. Many of them fear reporting such incidences due to reprisals from their seniors or male coworkers. In some instances, victims fear being associated with some of these ills and try to bury away their experiences in the hope they will go away.


Violation against women, unfortunately, begins as early as conception where, in some cultures, abortion is executed against the female sex. In adolescence, young female adult faces more violations such as forced prostitution, trafficking, early marriage, psychological abuse, and rape. Those who luckily get educated and have access to employment, find the workplaces even more discriminative. Due to these deprivations. fewer women get educated compared to their male counterparts, further worsening the already volatile mental stress.

The Specific Forms of Gender-Based Violence at Workplaces

  • Stalking
  • Sexual Coercion
  • Work discrimination, stigmatization, and social exclusion against women
  • Sexual Harassment and intimidation
  • Sexual exploitation and abuse
  • Trafficking for forced labor and sex across and within borders

The Impacts of Gender-Based Violence at the Workplace

Gender-Based Violence, which includes domestic or sexual violence, stalking, and other forms of violence, has long affected the lives of many women. The detrimental effects at the workplace are enormous, whether occurring within workplaces or outside, according to the UN General Assembly Journal entitled, ‘Intensification of Efforts to Eliminate All forms of Acts of Violence Against Women.

Such acts of gender-based violence come with enormous costs to the victims as well as the employers. As a result, there is general awareness and recognition of the need for proactive measures to facilitate the safety of female employees at work and to reduce the employers’ losses arising from the employees’ negative experiences at the workplace. 

Social & Economic Costs to the Workplace

Acts of violence against women can and do follow victims and perpetrators to the workplaceThere is enough proof that gender-based violence outside the workplace can detract from workplace productivity by increasing absenteeism, employer turnover, and resignations without sufficient notice. 

Perpetrators can deliberately sabotage the victim’s productivity and diminish her performance by stalking her at work, and repeatedly phoning or texting her during business hours. In more serious cases, the perpetrators can deliberately impair the victim’s ability to show up at work or arrive on time. For instance, a perpetrator can confiscate the victim’s car keys, deny her transport, and issue threats meant to limit her movement.

Increased Health Costs with gender-based violence

Any Gender-based violence may result in abuse that requires more and extensive medical care. The economic costs of violence against women are enormous and can amount to a loss of money due to medical and healthcare costs or loss of productivity due to increased absenteeism. Victims of gender discrimination lose motivation, which can lead to poor performance at work (ILO:2007). Those in positions of authority need more training to help protect women. 

Reduced Bargaining Power caused by gender-based violence 

Millions of workers, particularly women, are left unprotected and without recourse in the face of gender discrimination and violence. There is a lack of bargaining power and strict labor policies to empower and protect women against such excesses. Workers who fail to conform to stereotypical social norms usually become targets of work-related gender bias, discrimination, harassment, abuse, stigmatization, and exploitation (ILO:2007). 

According to USAID (2006, women who are victims of gender violence and discrimination tend to report poor or failing health and are likely to be depressed. Depression is a major concern to victims of gender violence and caters to 35% of poor health in developing countries. Of more concern is the inability of the violence victims to access preventive and injury-related healthcare as opposed to those not abused. 

Why Violence Against Women Must Stop

  • Gender-based violates women’s rights to life and safety
  • It causes physical and mental harm that diminishes the women’s and girls’ ability to lead a normal life. get an education, earn their living, develop their future and participate in public life
  • It increases the unequal power relations between men and women as well as girls and boys

Proposed Workplace Solutions

To curb excesses of gender-based violence, the following components are important;

  • There should be no retaliation against victims or perpetrators
  • There should be flexible provisions for leave with benefits to the affected parties
  • Employers should actively participate in safety planning for the victims within the organization
  • There should be a policy to enforce respect for the confidentiality of the situation
  • Defer, to the survivors’ assessment, safety wherever possible 
  • Actively promote awareness and prevention training at the workplace


The presentation was about gender-based violence in the workplace. Covered in this presentation are the specific forms of gender discrimination and violence, its negative effects, and the recourse that an organization must take to arrest the social ill in the workplace.

Workers must never be allowed to use work resources such as phones, email, or any other resource to perpetrate abuse or spread terror against women in the workplace. 

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