Women's empowerment, social norms, and domestic violence

This project is being conducted in partnership with Oxfam, and is funded by DfID-ESRC (grant no. ES/N014650/1).

Research question

We evaluate a set of interventions in rural Pakistan which aim to reduce violence against women and girls, both by increasing women’s economic opportunities and by changing men’s and women’s attitudes towards violence.

Research summary and methodology

Violence against women and girls – including domestic violence and child marriage – is a widespread impediment to public health, economic development and broader human rights and dignity. Improving women’s control of financial resources and access to economic opportunities has been linked to a reduction in violence in certain contexts, although not always, and there is evidence that women may face “backlash” within their household or community.

Our project comprises a field experiment in Pakistan, which cross-cuts interventions to improve women’s economic opportunities with interventions targeting men’s and women’s information about and attitudes to violence. The design allows us to test whether initiatives to support women’s economic participation are more effective in combination with such informational and attitudinal interventions. We are also able to compare the impact of informational and attitudinal interventions targeted at men with those targeted at women.

Collaborating Researchers

Wendy Janssens, Vrije Universiteit and Rachel Cassidy, IFS