About Violence Against Women and Poverty

“When you talk of women and violence against women, we’re talking about pain. We’re talking about women that cannot event stand up because they’re not economically empowered. The faith-based community should not ignore the issues of violence that affect women” 

-Rev. Annie Kaseketi

Violence against women is often interconnected with issues of economic injustice and lack of opportunities. Some women in search of economic survival get trapped in prostitution or sex slavery in an effort to support themselves and their families. Women who have survived or are living in fear of violence often feel powerless in the face of financial insecurities and are unable to escape violent situations.

    • Poverty robs over one billion people of their right to food, shelter, basic health care and education, and extreme poverty kills. Of the roughly 1.4 billion people living on less than $1 a day, 70 percent are women and girls.


    • Pervasive inequalities limit women’s access to basic resources such as education, health care, property rights and employment opportunities. When women are unable to meet their basic needs and support themselves and their families, they may be forced into coercive sexual encounters in order to survive. These women are exponentially more vulnerable to all forms of violence—sexual, physical, emotional and psychological.


    • The disadvantaged economic conditions women face immensely increase the likelihood that they will be victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking is the illegal transport of human beings for the purpose of selling them or exploiting their labor. 43 percent of victims of human trafficking are used for forced commercial sexual exploitation, of which 98 percent are women and girls.Women and girls living in unsafe neighborhoods that lack law enforcement and protection measures are often at greater risk for abduction into human trafficking.


    • Survivors of violence face greater obstacles for overcoming poverty. For instance, survivors of sexual violence are more likely to face sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and other challenges that perpetuate extreme, intergenerational poverty.