Gender Advocacy in Malawi

2017-19 CPD Research Fellow Lindsay J. Benstead, along with University of Bergen professor Ragnhild Muriaas and Chr. Michelsen Institute senior researcher Vibeke Wang, are co-authors of a conference paper that analyzes the role of international advocacy in shaping Malawi’s public opinion on issues of gender equality.

The paper, "When Do Donor Endorsements Help or Hurt? Policy Advocacy on Men’s Interests in Malawi," was prepared for the 2017 meeting of the European Conference on Politics and Gender and shares the results of an experiment conducted in Malawi in 2016, where they studied the effect that Western donors and women’s organizations have on popular support for gender-based reform such as electoral quotas and land reform.

The authors explain, “around the world WDs and WOs work to improve women’s status, but those who really need convincing may react negatively when reform attempts are backed by typical gender reform advocates. To date, scholars have not adequately addressed this issue, and this failure has significant implications for women’s rights advocacy.”

Be sure to read the paper in its entirety here.



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