South Asia: Researching violence against women and girls (VAWG)

This 18-month project explores the relationship between women’s economic empowerment (WEE) and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in four south Asian countries of Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal and India.

Using qualitative and quantitative methods, we aim to analyse the reciprocal impacts that VAWG and WEE have upon each other. How, for instance, does VAWG impinge upon income generation? How does income generation affect manifestations of VAWG in public and private spaces?

The overall impact objective is to generate new research that offers clear policy and programme direction on how WEE can be used as a vehicle to mitigate and reduce VAWG.

In communication with government, civil society, and the private sector, our research is divided into two broad steps. The first is to develop an understanding of the beliefs, values, social frameworks and practical conditions that shape violence against women and women’s economic engagement. This will require in-depth intersectional analysis of various relevant sociocultural, economic and political factors.

The second step is to consider how employers and employment programmes can improve women’s productivity while also diminishing the occurrence of VAWG both at work and outside.

We also seek to engage with employers in varied sectors to analyse their worker welfare strategies, exploring how employers can increase productivity whilst improving worker wellbeing in the workplace and outside.

We are working alongside University of Portsmouth, International Centre for Research on Women and Wise Development. Additional institutional collaborators are the Lahore University for Management Studies and the University of Delhi.

Our sub research questions include:

  • In each field site, how does VAWG affect women’s economic engagement (attendance, performance, type of job pursued etc.)?
  • Under what conditions or in what contexts does wage work exacerbate VAWG?
  • Under what conditions does wage work become empowering for women (i.e. facilitate their agency, resources, achievements) and thereby decrease violence?
  • What can employers do to improve women employees’ productivity while at the same time increasing their wellbeing in the workplace and at home? (well-being includes reduction of violence).


Visit the project’s website

Project Name

Research and Regional Network on Violence against Women and Girls in South Asia

project status

Ongoing, 2015-2017


UK Department for International Development (DFID)

contact person

Pallu Modi

Senior Technical Director, Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning
last updated

November 10, 2016