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Gender violence, enforcement, and human capital: Evidence from women’s justice centers in Peru

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  • Sviatschi, Maria Micaela
  • Trako, Iva

Abstract

In many developing countries, access to justice remains unequal, especially for women. What are the implications of this inequality for gender-based violence and investments in children? This paper provides evidence from Peru’s women’s justice centers (WJCs), which are specialized institutions that provide police, medical and legal services to reduce gender-based violence. Examining the gradual rollout of WJCs across districts and villages, we find that the opening of a center reduces the incidence of gender-based violence, as measured by self-reported domestic violence, female deaths due to aggression, and hospitalizations due to mental health, by about 10%. This decrease in women’s exposure to violence has intergenerational effects: WJCs substantially increase human capital investments in children, raising school attendance and test scores. The evidence suggests that these results are driven by an increase in enforcement against gender violence. After a WJC opens, there is an increase in the reporting and prosecutions for gender-specific crimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Sviatschi, Maria Micaela & Trako, Iva, 2024. "Gender violence, enforcement, and human capital: Evidence from women’s justice centers in Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 168(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:168:y:2024:i:c:s0304387824000117
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2024.103262
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender-based violence; Access to justice; Children’s education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • K38 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Human Rights Law; Gender Law; Animal Rights Law

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