Dr Catherine Anena

Dr Catherine Anena  (Makerere University)

Research title: Re-examining the contradictions: women’s economic empowerment and vulnerability to Gender Based Violence in Uganda

My personal research and readings have unearthed a dearth of information that point towards an existing link between economic empowerment and vulnerability to GBV, however, my work has so far been inconclusive in determining whether GBV is catalysed by or mitigated by economic empowerment. Indeed, there is a dearth of studies on the link between these two concepts, however, the information is contradictory, inadequate, and inconclusive. Some studies say economic empowerment helps women escape GBV, other studies point out that economic empowerment actually makes women a target and hence vulnerable to GBV especially perpetrated by intimate partners and family members. My project focuses on comparing the experiences of GBV faced by illiterate/semi-literate (unemployed/low income earners) and corporate (highly educated/career/high income) women. The study examines the differences or similarities in terms of vulnerability to GBV, forms of GBV experienced, services obtained thereafter and challenges faced as well as coping mechanisms adopted by the different categories of women. The study assesses not just the link between economic empowerment and vulnerability to GBV, but also provide recommendations on needed policies and how to structure development initiatives targeting women, to eliminate vulnerability to GBV.

Collaborator: Dr Solava Ibrahim, Centre of Development Studies