DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20237124 ISSN: 1660-4601

Climate Change, Extreme Weather, and Intimate Partner Violence in East African Agrarian-Based Economies

Leso Munala, Elizabeth M. Allen, Andrew J. Frederick, Anne Ngũnjiri
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Severe weather events can be a catalyst for intimate partner violence, particularly in agricultural settings. This research explores the association between weather and violence in parts of East Africa that rely on subsistence farming. We used IPUMS-DHS data from Uganda in 2006, Zimbabwe in 2010, and Mozambique in 2011 for intimate partner violence frequency and EM-DAT data to identify weather events by region in the year of and year prior to IPUMS-DHS data collection. This work is grounded in a conceptual framework that illustrates the mechanisms through which violence increases. We used logistic regression to estimate the odds of reporting violence in regions with severe weather events. The odds of reporting violence were 25% greater in regions with severe weather compared to regions without in Uganda (OR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.11–1.41), 38% greater in Zimbabwe (OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.13–1.70), and 91% greater in Mozambique (OR = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.64–2.23). Our results add to the growing body of evidence showing that extreme weather can increase women’s and girls’ vulnerability to violence. Moreover, this analysis demonstrates that climate justice and intimate partner violence must be addressed together.

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