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Women’s Economic Empowerment and Escaping Violent Relationships

Date created: 22 December 2021

This paper reports on research that found that increasing women’s savings or income does not necessarily lead to greater bargaining power within the household in Papua New Guinea. For women, the choice to escape violent relationships is constrained by gender norms and social customs such as bride price, custody of children and access to land, which limit their ability to live independently. The research suggests that in seeking to promote women’s economic empowerment, development programming should also seek to address the contextual factors, such as gender-based violence, which impinge on the ability of women to exercise their agency.

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