Irish abuse study gets praise from Hillary Clinton
FORMER US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has endorsed an Irish study on the true cost of domestic violence.
Mrs Clinton singled out the work by an Irish university for special praise. She was speaking in Washington at the launch of a World Bank report, 'The Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity', which looks at development around the world through gender issues.
A key chapter of the report is drawn from the research undertaken by a team at NUI, Galway.
The team led by Dr Nata Duvvury looked at the economic costs of domestic violence and its implications for growth and development.
The US politician praised the Galway research which linked GDP to domestic violence. It found that loss of productivity due to domestic violence-related absenteeism in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Uganda was significant.
Loss of productivity equated to 0.78pc of GDP in Vietnam, 0.5pc in Bangladesh and 1pc in Uganda.
Mrs Clinton said the data had given "a much stronger foundation on which to make arguments" for women's equality, referencing specifically the economic data from NUI, Galway.
"It has also opened up new areas of analysis and persuasion. Certainly the economic arguments which are highlighted in this book, linking, for example, domestic violence and the decrease in GDP to that particular problem could not have been possible, because we weren't looking for the information, we weren't drawing the conclusions.
"So we're now building on a much stronger foundation in order to be able to make the case as to why women's equal full participation, their voice and agency, is not only the right thing to do but the smart thing," she said.
Mrs Clinton highlighted the need for good data, adding that "it's been a long time coming".
She told how she had tried to raise the issue of domestic violence in impoverished countries while she was US Secretary of State but the lack of strong data made it difficult to get the message across.
"Now with this information it's even a much stronger argument because now you can quantify it in terms of GDP which does get people's attention," she added.
The Galway team were commissioned to carry out the research by the World Bank and spent six months last summer on the work.
Now the researchers are delighted to see the research get such attention.