Strengthening women’s voice, power and safety to address gender-based violence in Malawi and Zimbabwe
Despite progressive legal provisions on gender-based violence in Malawi and Zimbabwe, women continue to experience high rates of violence because the relevant laws are not always effectively enforced.
In Zimbabwe, gender-based violence is used as a mode of conflict resolution and social interaction, including within the political sphere. This is exacerbated by rising costs of living, growing unemployment, increasing feminization of poverty, and a breakdown in norms, structures, and institutions. Similarly, Malawi struggles with various endemic forms of gender-based violence, including early and forced child marriages, intimate partner violence, and violence against women in public spaces. The normalization of violence against women and unfavourable social norms, combined with the low ranking of women in Malawi’s Human Development Index, perpetuate gender-based violence.
While women’s groups and civil society organizations in both countries continue to campaign against gender-based violence, state responses are often uncoordinated and fail to address the multi-layered and complex nature of this phenomenon. This project will use evidence-based analysis to strengthen holistic approaches to gender-based violence and to further the design of policies and programs that focus on physical, systemic, and structural manifestations of violence and women’s insecurity.