DP15808 Can Youth Empowerment Programs Reduce Violence Against Girls during the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Author(s): Selim Gulesci, Manuela Puente Beccar, Diego Ubfal
Publication Date: February 2021
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Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15808

This paper shows that a youth empowerment program in Bolivia reduces the prevalence of violence against girls during the COVID-19 lockdown. The program offers training in soft skills and technical skills, sexual education, mentoring and job-finding assistance. To measure the effects of the program, the study conducts a randomized control trial with 600 vulnerable adolescents. Results indicate that 7 months after its completion, the program increased girls' earnings and decreased violence targeting females. Violence is measured with both direct self-report questions and list experiments. These findings suggest that empowerment programs can reduce the level of violence experienced by young females during high-risk periods.