Women in India who are more educated than their husbands, earn more or are the sole earners in their families face a higher risk of domestic violence than women who are more dependent on their partners, according to a new study.
Much of India is still deeply patriarchal and there are wide gaps in the status of men and women. And this form of violence could be a way for men to reassert their power or maintain social control over their wives to preserve the “status quo” in the relationship, said the study’s author Abigail Weitzman.
Weitzman, a graduate student at New York University, looked at data from the female-only module of India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS) collected between 2005 and 2006, concentrating on married women.
The study found that compared to women less educated than their husbands, women with more education face 1.4 times the risk of violence from their partners, 1.54 times the risk of frequent violence, and 1.36 times the risk of severe violence.
The study appeared in the latest issue of the Population and Development Review, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Population Council, an international non-profit organization that conducts research on development issues.