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