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
• Reduction of women’s self-esteem and
agency needed to make independent
• 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
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
• May underlie chronic poverty
What is lost with SGBV: Assets needed
for livelihoods
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)
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
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,
“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
• 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
• 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 &
 Train men and women together
• Ensure women’s participation in decisionmaking: 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!

Natural Capital