Prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) is high the world over, and sub-Saharan African countries are no exception. My thesis analyses the impact of socio-economic interventions for the reduction of intimate partner violence (IPV) – a specific form of GBV – in sub-Saharan Africa. It evaluates results from the randomised controlled trials of two interventions in sub-Saharan Africa providing access to microfinance services and discussion sessions to redress power imbalances in the household and reduce the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV).
A third paper in the thesis contains the first formulation of the concept of eudaimonic utility to identify relevant empowerment outcomes to measure alongside violence and mood outcomes. Results suggest that increased empowerment, especially when predominantly attained in the sphere of autonomy, is not always accompanied by a reduction in exposure to violence. They also show that increased awareness of violent behaviour is accompanied by an increase in negative stress for men, significant economic improvements notwithstanding.
Overall, the thesis’ findings lend support to the statement that socio-economic interventions may contribute to IPV reduction, and suggest that the dynamics of how this happens still warrant further investigation.