|Do electronic and economic empowerment protect women from intimate partner violence (IPV) in India?
|Koustuv Dalal, Masuma Yasmin, Heléne Dahlqvist and Gunnar O. Klein
|BMC Women's Health, Volume 22; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-022-02110-4
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health problem. Electronic empowerment has several positive impacts on health. No study has examined whether electronic empowerment prevents intimate partner violence. Economic empowerment has positive and negative effects on IPV victimization. The current study was conducted to investigate whether economic and electronic empowerment of women act as protective factors against IPV in India.
A national representative sample of 66,013 ever-married women from 36 member states and union territories of India has been used from the National Family Health Survey 2015 to 2016. Emotional, physical and sexual violence against women by husbands were target variables. We used bivariate and multivariate analyses.
The prevalence of emotional violence was 13%, physical violence was 28% and sexual violence was 7%. IPV against women was as follows: The prevalence was higher among women living in rural areas, belonging to Hindu religion and those belonging to Scheduled Castes. Higher education and higher socio-economic status were found to be protective factors against IPV. The prevalence of IPV was higher among the working women, among those having knowledge of business loans for women and the recipients of such business loans. Exposure to media was found to reduce IPV. The women who used mobile phones and SMS facility experienced less violence.
Economic independence of women was found to be a risk factor for IPV in India, whereas electronic empowerment was a protective factor. In the Indian context, policymakers should make use of mobile phones and support SMS use in the IPV awareness programs. Women empowerment, combined with gender equity, can reduce the prevalence of violence against women.