Reducing intimate partner violence through cash transfers: The next research frontier

Cash transfers are promising interventions to reduce intimate partner violence (IPV), but more evidence is needed to better understand their effects in both development and humanitarian settings. This was the main message from a side event at the 63rd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) in New York March 13. In keeping with this year’s CSW theme—social protection systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls—presenters outlined evidence from around the world on leveraging cash transfers to reduce IPV at scale.

The need for scalable solutions to IPV is evident when we look at the numbers. Globally, 1 in 3 women over the age of 15 experience physical or sexual IPV in their lifetimes. While an estimated 2.5 billion people benefit from social safety nets in low- and middle-income countries, little is known about their effects on intra-household dynamics. Research highlighted at the event is helping to close these gaps in the evidence and shows that cash transfers have reduced IPV in many settings.