Sumaq Warmi: Reducing Violence Against Women in Microfinance

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Feb 2018
Smith, John Dunn
This report presents the final evaluation of Sumaq Warmi, a project that provided an educational training focused on human rights and violence against women and children to women who were already participating in a micro loan program. Women members of village banks located in rural Peru were selected into the program using a cluster-randomization allocation at the village level. Those in the control group received no training. Our analysis uses two approaches. First, we compare the outcomes between clients in treated and non-treated banks. Second, we use the randomization to study whether the intensity of the program (e.g., number of sessions attended) had an impact on the evaluated outcomes. Both methods yield the same findings. Two years after the intervention started, we found no effects on women’s perceptions of social norms or in their attitudes towards violence. Additionally, we did not observe an effect from the intervention on measures of domestic violence. However, we found that the treatment made women more aware of the violence-related resources available to them (e.g., knowledge of the help line Linea 100) and they are more likely to perceive their partners as more controlling (e.g., more jealous). We also find an impact on women’s land ownership and titling as well as their propensity to advise a neighbor about family relationships. We find no effect on their parental attitudes and disciplinary behaviortowards their own children. No effects are found when the sample is divided by measures of economic empowerment. All these results suggest that short-lived one-sided policies alone are not sufficient to reduce exposure to violence.