Contextual Explanations for Variations in the Effects of Women’s Status on Domestic Violence in Rural Uttar Pradesh, India

Elizabeth A. Mogford, University of Washington

This work-in-progress examines the effect of women’s status on domestic violence in rural Uttar Pradesh, India, using merged village- and individual-level DHS datasets. I address two main questions: does higher status protect women from experiencing marital violence? And how might village-level social organization, such as collective efficacy, socioeconomic status, and norms of tolerance toward violence, contribute to variation in domestic abuse across villages and variation in the relationship between women's status and violence? Preliminary results suggest that the effects of status depend on the dimension measured: individual-level women’s status related to the domestic sphere (decision-making autonomy and freedom of movement) is protective against violence while status related to the outside world (working and exposure to media) puts women at greater risk of abuse. Part two will apply multi-level modeling to analyze how village-level factors may condition the impact of these individual-level effects.

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Presented in Session 20: Determinants of Domestic Violence