Suva, Fiji, July 30, 2019—Domestic and
sexual violence is costing Fijian employers almost 10 days of work per
employee each year, according to a new study by IFC, International
Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.
The report: The
Business Case for Workplace Responses to Domestic and Sexual Violence in
Fiji demonstrates the crucial role
employers can play in supporting staff affected by domestic and sexual
violence. It recommends actions they can take, such as developing standardized
workplace responses and training teams to help affected employees.
Following the publication of the report,
IFC launched a program to coach trainers to help businesses across the
Pacific better support staff affected by domestic and sexual violence.
The study shows companies can mitigate the effects of domestic and sexual
violence. Simple approaches, like helping employees access community services,
can make a real difference.
“Companies with well designed policies and
processes for those harmed by domestic and sexual violence can improve
employee well-being and performance, driving better business returns,”
said Deva De Silva, IFC’s Resident Representative for Fiji, Samoa,
Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu.
IFC surveyed three companies in the Fijian
private sector with a total of 1,701 employees. Thirty-three percent of
employees at these companies completed the survey and of those surveyed,
21 percent of women and nine percent of men had experienced violence in
the last 12 months. For women and men, the most common form of violence
was emotional abuse, harassment or intimidation by a family or household
member, followed by physical violence.
“This study demonstrates domestic and sexual
violence has a ripple effect across employees, teams and businesses. Employers
can combat this, leading to better outcomes,” said Anna Dorney, Australia’s
Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji.
“Financial independence is the key pathway
to leaving violence,” said IFC Gender Operations Officer Shabnam Hameed,
lead author of the report. “A workplace that can help those impacted can
give them the financial security they need, empowering them to make their
Fiji has one of the world’s highest rates
of domestic and sexual violence, experienced by almost two thirds of women
in their lifetimes.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the Australia-Fiji Partnership
IFC’s work in Fiji is guided by the Australia-IFC
Fiji Partnership. Australia and IFC are working together through the Partnership
to stimulate private sector investment and reduce poverty in Fiji.