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Spousal Violence and Women's Employment in India
Authors: Haimanti Bhattacharya
Source: Feminist Economics, 21(2): 30-52, DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2014.994653
Topic(s): Domestic violence
Women's status
Country: Asia
Published: JAN 2015
Abstract: This study analyzes women’s experiences of physical or sexual spousal violence as a correlate of their employment. Based on the 2005–6 National Family Health Survey III, a nationally representative dataset from India, the analysis illustrates that married women who experienced spousal violence are more likely to be employed and are also more likely to work for cash remuneration and be employed year-round. These results may appear to suggest that spousal violence is associated with higher likelihood of married women seeking financial self-reliance. However, investigation of who decides how to spend the women’s earnings reveals that Indian women who experienced spousal violence are less likely to have a say in that vital decision, which suggests that women who experience spousal violence may also be more susceptible to financial exploitation. The evidence further indicates a need for caution among analyses that uniformly embrace employment as a financial empowerment tool for women.