Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Indian women with more resources than their husbands face heightened risk of violence

Date:
March 25, 2014
Source:
Population Council
Summary:
Indian women who have more education than their husbands, who earn more, or who are the sole earners in their families have a higher likelihood of experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) than women who are not employed or are less educated than their spouse. Programs to improve women's financial resources or employment opportunities may increase their risk of IPV. Microfinance and vocational programs for women should consider making legal and psychological counseling available to participants.

A new study has found that women in India who have more education than their husbands, who earn more, or who are the sole earners in their families have a higher likelihood of experiencing frequent and severe intimate partner violence (IPV) than women who are not employed or who are less educated than their spouse. The article is included in the latest issue of Population and Development Review, a journal published by the Population Council.

There are two existing theories that aim to predict what happens when a woman has status and resources that are equal to or greater than her husband's. One theory, called bargaining theory, posits that a woman who has more relative resources in a relationship should be at a lower risk for IPV. A man in such a relationship would worry that his wife would withhold resources if he behaved violently toward her. The other theory, known as gender deviance neutralization, suggests that a woman's superior resources would be viewed as gender deviant and a man would use violence to gain power or maintain control in the relationship. This study supports the latter theory.

Abigail Weitzman, a graduate student at New York University, looked at data from the female-only module of India's National Family Health Survey (NFHS) collected between 2005 and 2006. This module contains data from a nationally representative sample of women aged 15-49 and includes nine variables pertaining to IPV. It also asks a number of questions about women's current employment, relative earnings, and access to other money. Weitzman looked only at data from married women and explored the occurrence, frequency, and severity of violence.

Weitzman found that compared to women with less education than their husbands, women with more education face 1.4 times the risk of IPV, 1.54 times the risk of frequent violence, and 1.36 times the risk of severe violence. She found a similar pattern for women who were better employed than their spouse. And women who were the sole breadwinners in their family faced 2.44 times the risk of frequent violence and 1.51 times the risk of severe violence as unemployed women whose husbands were employed.

"In global development efforts, there is a large emphasis on women's employment and education. My research suggests that there can be a backlash, including violence, toward women who attain greater education or earnings than their husbands," says Weitzman. "Finding a solution will be tricky. Our response should not be to stop educating and employing women, but nor should we plow ahead without recognizing this may put them at greater risk, and making changes to help protect them."

Divorce is extremely rare in India; therefore Weitzman recommends that policies aimed at addressing IPV should focus on alternatives to divorce, such as shelters and support groups. Additionally, this research suggests that programs that aim to improve women's financial resources or employment opportunities may inadvertently increase their risk of IPV. Microfinance and vocational programs for women should consider making legal and psychological counseling available to participants.

This article is available free of charge for a limited time at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2014.00650.x/pdf.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Population Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Population Council. "Indian women with more resources than their husbands face heightened risk of violence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325154240.htm>.
Population Council. (2014, March 25). Indian women with more resources than their husbands face heightened risk of violence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325154240.htm
Population Council. "Indian women with more resources than their husbands face heightened risk of violence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325154240.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins