Analysing the Impact of Education and Employment on Domestic Violence Amongst Women in India (NFHS 2019-2021 Report)
Author : Aashvi Gambhir
The Shri Ram School, Aravali, Gurgaon, Haryana, India
In India, 32 percent of women aged 18-49 who have ever been married have experienced physical, sexual or emotional spousal violence. In an attempt to bridge the gender inequality gap, the focus on the study of women’s education and employment as a means of empowerment often ignores its potential as an aggravator of violence across socio-economic strata. Thus, this research study aims to understand if there is a positive relationship between employment, level of education and exposure to domestic violence experienced by women in India through the National Family Health Survey-5. This study uses unit-level data from NFHS-5. Its module on domestic violence was administered to one woman aged between 18 and 49 years from each household. A total of 72,056 women were sampled under this module. The findings of the study show that a higher level of schooling among women is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of domestic violence. Further, it was found that women’s employment was associated with greater incidence of domestic violence. It can be theorised that this unexpected association is linked with male backlash due to perceived challenge of authority or defiance of deeply rooted and misogynistic social norms. Additionally, it can be attributed to recognizing the pattern of imbalance in the access to divorce amongst women in developing countries. It is an important outcome to consider when implementing policies to prevent and reduce occurrence of domestic violence in India.