Background: The current study compared working and non-working groups of women in relation to intimate partner violence. The paper aims to explore the relationship between women's economic empowerment, their exposures to IPV and their help seeking behaviour using a nationally representative sample in India.
Methods: This was a cross sectional study of 124,385 ever married women of reproductive age from all 29 member states in India. Chi-square tests were used to examine differences in proportions of dependent variables (exposure to IPV) and independent variables. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to assess the independent contribution of the variables of economic empowerment in predicting exposure to IPV.
Results: Out of 124,385 women, 69432 (56%) were eligible for this study. Among those that were eligible 35% were working. In general, prevalence of IPV (ever) among women in India were: emotional violence 14%, less severe physical violence 31%, severe physical violence 10% and sexual violence 8%. For working women, the IPV prevalence was: emotional violence 18%, less severe physical violence 37%, severe physical violence 14% and sexual violence 10%; whilst for non-working women the rate was 12, 27, 8 and 8 percents, respectively. Working women seek more help from different sources.
Conclusions: Economic empowerment is not the sole protective factor. Economic empowerment, together with higher education and modified cultural norms against women, may protect women from IPV.
2011. Vol. 3, no 1, 35-44 p.