Technical Notes

Sumaq Warmi: Reducing Violence Against Women in Microfinance

AUTHOR(s): Aguero, Jorge , Frisancho, Veronica
PUBLISHED: March 2018
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor


This paper evaluates the impact of Sumaq Warmi, a program that provided educational training on human rights and violence against women and children to female village banking clients in rural Peru. Within the experimental sample of banks chosen, the treatment was cluster-randomized at the village level. Two years after the intervention started, effects are not found on women’s perceptions of social norms or their attitudes towards violence. The intervention does not reduce domestic violence either. However, the treatment leads to greater awareness of violence-related resources available to women and a greater probability of perceiving their partners as more controlling. The paper also finds an impact on women’s land ownership and titling as well as their propensity to talk to a neighbor about family relationships. The treatment did not alter parental attitudes or disciplinary behavior towards children. All in all, the evidence reported here suggests that short-lived one-sided policies are not sufficient to reduce exposure to violence.

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