Women's economic inequality and domestic violence: exploring the links and empowering women

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Economic empowerment of poor households is a key entry point for development organisations concerned with economic inequality. Over the decades, gender inequality has emerged as a key concern, and the result has been women’s economic empowerment (WEE) programming. This article is a study of the impact of WEE programming on domestic violence (DV) against women. While this link has received some attention in gender and development literature, evaluations and impact assessments in development organisations have not consistently focused on the possibility of increased or decreased DV as a result of the challenge WEE represents to gender power relations. Drawing on the experience of Oxfam and other development organisations, we offer recommendations for practitioners aimed at better programme integration and more holistic empowerment. Aiming to challenge economic inequality between households involves better understanding of the impact of WEE programming on intra-household gender inequality, including rates of DV. This requires planning to anticipate these possible impacts and ensure women are able to gain from programming without placing themselves at risk. This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.