The World Bank Group and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative recently awarded $99,900 to Monash University for research in Cambodia that aims to reduce incidents of gender-based violence.
The award will help them study how women, men, girls and boys use their local cultural references to understand gender-based violence that they may have experience or witnessed.
According to a press release issued by the World Bank in collaboration with a Buddhist network, they will examine initiatives developed by monks to help prevent gender-based violence and mitigate its effects.
They will also document why perpetrators and survivors sought help from monks and female devotees, and how it changed attitudes toward women and girls.
Miguel Eduardo Sanchez Martin, World Bank acting country manager, said that Cambodia has made advances against gender-based violence, but understanding cultural attitudes is an important part of continuing to battle the crime.
“We congratulate the winners on this innovative approach and look forward to learning more about the ways that monks can prevent and mitigate the effects of gender-based violence,” she said.
This year’s winners, chosen from more than 250 submissions from research institutions, NGOs, and other organisations around the world, come from Armenia, Cambodian, Colombia, Honduras, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Rwanda and South Africa.
Winning teams received up to $100,000 each and were chosen based on overall merit, research or project design and methods, significance, team expertise and ethical considerations.
The World Health Organisation estimates that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
Caren Grown, a senior director with the World Bank Group, said that studies have shown that gender-based violence can cost economies up to 3.7 percent of GDP due to lost productivity. In February, the Cambodian National Council for Women held a meeting led by Minister Ing Kantha Phavi.
In it, the minister noted that from 2015 to 2017, CNCW delivered legal support for 223 cases of violence against women and girls, including 63 cases last year that included many instances of juvenile victims, and rape and domestic violence cases.