|Violence against Women (World Bank, 1994, 84 pages)|
By taking against women seriously, the World Bank can help encourage governments, other lenders, and the world community to do likewise. As a financial and policymaking institution with considerable leverage, the Bank could lend visibility and legitimacy to the issue by incorporating violence into its policy-oriented sector work on poverty, health, education and women in development, and by supporting projects addressing violence against women. Already the Bank is supporting the construction of a government-run shelter for battered women in Papua New Guinea. The Bank can also urge governments to take action in all of the ways suggested here, in consultation with women's NGOs and advisors with experience in combating violence, pushing legal reform, and working with victims.
Much of the necessary preventive action will require persistent and extensive work through the Bank's sectorial divisions, and a commitment to community-based organizations, public education, and women's empowerment. In the short run some of the most effective action can be taken by health and family planning agencies and providers. As Racquet Edralin Tiglao, director of the Women's Crisis Center in Metro Manila, observes, recognizing violence as a health issue is an essential first step. When "iced by an interviewer about the most important thing that we can do about violence against women, she replied that:
People should start taking violence seriously, particularly health organizations because it is a life threatening issue. When you're talking of family planning, why are there women who cannot do family planning? You must see whether some of these women are actually battered women who have no choices. Or those who seek abortions? They could be rape or incest victims. They should be asked. If health workers would be more vigilant in detecting incidents of violence against women, we could make people more aware that this is a very crucial issue for women's health and women's lives. (Datinguinoo 1991, p.