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Child marriage and women's attitude towards wife beating in a nationally representative sample of currently married adolescent and young women in Pakistan
Authors: Nasrullah M, Muazzam S, Khosa F, and Khan MM
Source: International Health, 9(1):20-28. DOI: 10.1093/inthealth/ihw047
Topic(s): Child marriage
Women's health
Women’s empowerment
Youth
Country: Asia
  Pakistan
Published: JAN 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Child marriage (before 18 years) is widely prevalent in Pakistan, and disproportionately affects young girls in rural, low income and poorly-educated households. Our study aims to determine the association of child marriage and attitude towards wife beating among currently married Pakistani women aged 15-24 after controlling for social equity indicators (education, wealth index, rural residence). METHODS: We limited the data from Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, 2012-2013 to currently married women aged 15-24 years (n=2648). Five specified dichotomous variables indicating women's attitude towards wife beating (goes out without telling husband, neglects the children, argues with husband, refuses to have sex with husband, burns the food) were considered as outcome variables. The likelihood (OR and 95% CI) of each outcome variable for the child marriage group was estimated using logistic regression models. RESULTS: The prevalence of child marriage was significantly higher among women having no education and Balochi ethnicity, living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region and rural area, and belonging to the poorest quintile of wealth index. Women married as children compared with women married as adults were more likely to justify wife beating for all five specified reasons. However, these associations were lost when social equity indicators and national region of residence were adjusted in the regression models. CONCLUSIONS: Highly prevalent child marriage practice among women can be minimized by promoting education and providing economic opportunities in Pakistan. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. KEYWORDS: Beating; Child marriage; Empowerment; Pakistan; Violence; Women