Verena Tandrayen-Ragoobur (2020) Intimate partner violence and women’s labour force participation in Sub Saharan Africa, Community, Work & Family, 23:1, 19-43, DOI: 10.1080/13668803.2018.1540400

The objective of this paper is to investigate the link between women’s labour force participation and intimate partner violence, using the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) across 20 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries between 2010 and 2015. The study contributes to the existing literature by incorporating a macroeconomic dimension to previous framework measuring the risk factors of intimate partner violence. The findings reveal a positive link between employment status and the risk of intimate partner violence, where working women in SSA have 19% higher odds of abuse compared to non-working ones. This result holds robust across sexual, emotional and less severe physical abuse and is particularly relevant for the Eastern and Western parts of SSA. It is further observed that more educated women and those married or started living with their partner at a very early age face higher risk of partner abuse. Similarly, gender discrimination in social institutions and polygyny are important risk factors for the occurrence of violence. Women’s empowerment in Africa, through greater access to the labour market needs to be accompanied by appropriate laws, to reduce any form of gender inequality at both the microeconomic and macroeconomic levels.