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domestic work, feminist research, health, human rights, Malawi, Malawian women, postcolonial, violence



  1. Mkandawire-Valhmu, Lucy PhD, RN
  2. Stevens, Patricia E. PhD, RN, FAAN


In this study, we responded to the human rights challenges posed in Malawi by burgeoning poverty, rapid urbanization, lack of employment opportunity for women, and AIDS-related morbidity and mortality as they affect young women in domestic service. Through focus groups and individual interviews with 48 female domestic workers, we examined violence from a postcolonial feminist perspective. In this article, we tell the story of how we operationalized our feminist science and forged relationships with Malawian women to identify the jeopardy they face and make steps toward an emancipatory change. We highlight substantive findings, but direct our focus to methodology, theoretical grounding, and implications for nursing research undertaken with vulnerable populations in the Third World.