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Involvement of companies in the fight against gender-based violence in Belgium

November 2015
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One of the main activities of the “CARVE – Companies against gender violence” project consisted in carrying out qualitative national studies that aimed at presenting the national legal and social backgrounds as well as the way violence committed against women is treated by companies. In this national study, POUR LA SOLIDARITÉ presents the results of the field investigation carried in Belgium.

In 2015, PLS conducted a qualitative field research project with a sample constituted of about 25 different stakeholders, comprising different kinds of enterprises, trade unions, international and local NGOs, researchers, public bodies and business networks.

The present research reveals a very low level of engagement of companies in the fight against gender-based violence. Yet the corporate sphere is impacted by these violences: it is estimated that in Belgium, partner violence alone costs 439 million euros a year, of which 288 million euros constitute production losses.

Several reasons can explain this lack of reaction from companies: lack of information, lack of statistical information regarding the economic impact GBV has on enterprises, absence of training to enable corporate stakeholders to detect victims, privacy issue, etc.

Yet the field research work and a national participative workshop permitted to identify recommendations to take a step further in involving companies in the tackling of violence against women committed outside the workplace.