Empowerment for reduced partner violence

Published: February 19, 2022

We investigate the effects of an empowerment course designed to decrease intimate partner violence in Ethiopia. Empowerment training aims to influence attitudes that can be used to rationalize violence and builds the case that partner violence is always unacceptable. It is designed to improve women’s agency and give them self-confidence to implement strategies to reduce violence through de-escalation, escaping, seeking help and reporting incidences. This approach is popular across the world and is for example a key component in recent Norwegian policy campaigns against partner violence

The policy question is whether such empowerment training is effective in empowering women and/or reducing intimate partner violence.

A state of the art empowerment curriculum was used by an Ethiopian NGO to provide training for women in Ethiopia, and we measure its effects on a range of empowerment indicators, attitudes as well as on intimate partner violence.

Implementing partner
Ethiopia: Mekelle and Hawassa
In-country research partner
Study population
800 couples
Study type
Randomized evaluation
2015 - 2020
Espen Villanger (project leader), Andreas Kotsadam, Tigabu Degu Getahun