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IFC: Violence at Workplace Exacts Heavy Cost on Fijian Businesses

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 own decisions.”
Fiji has one of the world’s highest rates of domestic and sexual violence, experienced by almost two thirds of women in their lifetimes.
About IFC
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 .
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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.