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Female Participation in Household Decision Making and the Justification of Wife Beating in Bangladesh
Authors: Alam MS, Tareque MI, Peet ED, Rahman MM, and Mahmud T
Source: Journal of Interpersonal Violence , 1:886260518772111; DOI: 10.1177/0886260518772111
Topic(s): Domestic violence
Household decision-making
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Women’s empowerment
Country: Asia
  Bangladesh
Published: APR 2018
Abstract: We examined female participation in household decision making and its association with the justification of wife beating in Bangladesh. We used nationally representative data from the 2014 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. Our sample consisted of currently married women of age 15 to 49 years ( n = 16,463). Chi-square tests and multilevel logistic regression models were performed. Approximately 84% of women in the survey were participants in at least one household decision, and 72% reported that wife beating is not justified in any circumstance. Women who reported their participation in at least one type of household decision less frequently reported that wife beating could be justified than those who did not participate in any household decisions (adjusted odds ratio = 1.49; 95% confidence interval = [1.25, 1.78]). In addition to participation in household decision making, other factors including age at first marriage, females' and their husbands' education, religion, parity, contraceptive use, and socioeconomic status were associated with the justification of wife beating. The results indicate that female participation in household decision making is significantly associated with the justification of wife beating in Bangladesh. Further study is needed, but the results suggest that policy makers should consider interventions proven to empower women and lead to increased participation in decision making as methods that may reduce domestic violence against women. KEYWORDS: Bangladesh; household decision making; intimate partner violence; wife beating; women’s empowerment