Project Details


Collaborative research project with Professor Tamsin Bradley. Awarded £29,950 to undertake research in Zambia from the Themes Research Innovation Fund

This project will investigate whether education and employment are able to raise women and girls aspirations, supporting increased resilience to challenge gender based violence (GBV). In particular does education and employment empower women sufficiently to challenge the social normalisation of GBV in Zambia. It will merge pioneering work developed by Professor Bradley in Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan (Bradley and Gruber, 2018) with work by Dr Day on youth, transitions to adulthood and aspirations for the future in Zambia (Day, 2017: Day and Evans, 2015). GBV is pervasive in Zambia. Demographic Household Survey (DHS) data indicates that from the age of 15 years onwards almost half of all Zambian women have experienced physical violence (2007). However, the deep normalisation and cultural acceptance of it as a practice means figures are widely under-reported. This project will take an intersectional approach to investigate whether women gaining education and employment opportunities can act as an enabler to reduce the prevalence of GBV. The research will generate a new data set of 100 qualitative interviews with different socio-economic groupings of women offering in-depth and complex understanding of the different intersections between violence, employment, education, social class etc. In additional innovative techniques, such as Community Narrators, will be used in order to provide ongoing and longitudinal insights enabling us to develop a rich data set and build on the lessons learned to end Violence Against Women in Zambia.

Key findings

Overarching research question:
How can approaches to increase women’s economic engagement also tackle violence against women in Zambia?

Research Aim: To generate evidence that can enable better decision making in programme and policy design so that women’s economic empowerment is enhanced while at the same time tackling GBV.

Research Objective: To understand the complex, interactive relationship between Violence Against Women (VAW) and Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) and how approaches can work best. This can be broken down as follows:

1. To understand how violence currently shapes women’s economic engagement patterns, and to ascertain how best to address this.
2. To uncover the complex ways in which earning or generating an income shapes/alters (both positively and negatively) the forms and levels of violence that women experience, and how it affects their levels of vulnerability.
3. To unpack and describe how approaches to enhancing women’s economic activity can support prevention of, protection from and response to GBV, and to ascertain how sociocultural contexts and gendered power relations interact to impact on these processes.
Effective start/end date18/01/1931/07/20


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