Alternative Dispute Resolution and Women’s Empowerment within the Household

This qualitative study examines the impact of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) on two aspects of women’s empowerment: the reduction of gender violence in family disputes, and the promotion of women in household decision-making. Data were collected through 18 case studies drawn from BRAC ADR cases for household disputes. Our findings suggest that ADR is effective in reducing domestic violence, but this generally does not transfer to increased power in household decision-making. ADR generally does not resolve disputes, which continue with the same intensity despite concessions made by defendants. Even when ADR has a positive impact, husbands and the in-laws act as “gatekeepers” to improvements; while household relations may be more functional, they do not become any less patriarchal. ADR empowers women by providing them with more options and resources although it compromises in promoting a massive structural change yet.

Authors: Evans, Chris; Hasan, Sk. Kamran
Type: Report
Year: 2010