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Substance use and gender based violence in Malawi

This qualitative pilot project was the second of a series of research projects to be carried out in Malawi in the field of alcohol, drugs and development. The in-depth project explored how substance use has an effect on gender based violence in Malawi.

Contact person

Chembe village in Malawi. Photo: SINTEF/Stine Hellum Braathen

The main objective of this project was to answer the following question:

  • How does men's use of substances put women at risk of being violated physically, mentally and sexually?

The results show that there are three main types of abuse as experienced by the women in this study, namely; economic abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. Much of the abuse takes place when the offender has drunk alcohol and/ or smoked chamba. There is a general lack of respect and acknowledgement of women both by men and by women themselves.

This study calls for more research on sexual abuse, alcohol abuse and how this impacts on the spread of HIV/ AIDS in Malawi. Furthermore, the study calls for more attention to the problems connected to alcohol and drug use in Malawi, and its negative affect on wives, families, communities, Malawian society and the country as a whole.

Collaborating partners are:

  • Centre for Social Research, University of Malawi
  • Gender Coordination Network, Malawi
  • FORUT, Norway
  • SINTEF,  Norway

The project was funded by FORUT - Campaign for Development and Solidarity

Key Factors

Project duration

01/01/2007 - 31/12/2008


Download the SINTEF Report A6189