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Women’s Labour Force Participation and Domestic Violence

Sohini Paul

Journal of South Asian Development, 2016, vol. 11, issue 2, 224-250

Abstract: Domestic violence is recognized as a serious violation of women’s basic rights. Conventional economic models of domestic violence suggest that higher labour force participation by women leads to a decrease in domestic violence. In this article, we study the relationship between women’s employment and domestic violence using the ecological framework of violence developed by Heise (1998). We use a sample of 69,704 married women aged 15–49 years from Round III of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data (2005–2006) for our analysis. We report a positive association between women’s labour force participation and physical as well as emotional abuse by husbands: employed women are thus more exposed to intimate partner violence. However, we did not find much evidence that domestic violence resulted from a larger control of household resources by working women. We argue that the emotional cost may become high for men when household decision-making power diverges from the traditional gender norm, and men may turn to violence to restore their domestic dominance.

Keywords: Gender; domestic violence; labour force participation; Asia; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:sae:soudev:v:11:y:2016:i:2:p:224-250