Women's Paid Work and Intimate Partner Violence: Insights from Tanzania

Seema Vyas, Jessie Mbwambo, Lori Heise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Theoretical and empirical research provide conflicting views on whether women who do paid work are less at risk from violence by an intimate partner in low- and middle-income countries. Economic household-bargaining models propose increased access to monetary resources will enhance women's “agency” and hence their bargaining power within the household, which reduces their vulnerability to intimate-partner violence. Feminist theorists also argue, however, that culture, context, and social norms can impede women's ability to access and benefit from employment. This study uses semi-structured interviews conducted in 2009 to explore the implications of paid work among women market traders in Dar es Salaam and Mbeya, Tanzania. While in this sample, informal-sector work did not result in women being able to fully exercise agency, their access to money did have a positive effect on their lives and reduced one major source of conflict and trigger for violence: that of negotiating money from men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-58
Number of pages24
JournalFeminist Economics
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bargaining power
  • Tanzania
  • employment
  • gender relations
  • violence against women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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