Empirical insights into SVAW in Pakistan

The Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) has distinct definitions of violence, such as physical, emotional54 and sexual55 violence. In the emotional and physical violence categories, emotional violence is the highest, which is 32.85 per cent,56 as found in the DHS (2012). Data on physical violence in this survey is divided into two categories, namely, severe57 and less severe5S violence, which are 7.35 per cent and 26.33 per cent respectively in Pakistan (Figure 7.1).59

The factors identified in the previous literature on spousal violence are closely and significantly associated with spousal violence in Pakistan as well (see Table 7.1). The probability of spousal violence against women decreases as their education level increases (p <0.000) or when the education of their spouse goes up (p <0.000) or when the Wealth Index of the household increases (p<0.000). If the women justify spousal violence, the probability of their being subjected to spousal violence increases (p<0.000) and similarly the probability of spousal violence significantly increases as the number of reasons for which women justify violence increases (p <0.000). Ironically, the job status of the woman does not have any impact on the probability of the experience of spousal violence (jo >0.1). A higher number of children ever bom is associated with a higher probability of spousal violence (61.8 per cent when the

Extent of spousal violence against women in Pakistan

Figure 7.1 Extent of spousal violence against women in Pakistan.

Spousal violence against women in Pakistan 113 Table 7.1 Bivariate association between spousal violence and a set of selected variables

Experienced any less severe violence by husband/partner

No

(%)

Yes

(%)

P-value

Respondent’s educational attainment

Primary (n = 2,238)

69.9

30.1

<0.000

Secondary (n = 604)

80.7

19.3

Higher (n = 423)

89.3

10.7

Total (n = 3,265)

73.8

26.2

Husband/partner's educational attainment

Primary (и = 1,428)

69.1

30.9

<0.000

Secondaiy (n = 1,055)

74.9

25.1

Higher (n = 782)

84.6

15.4

Total (n = 3,265)

73.8

26.2

Wealth Index

Poor (n = 1,195)

68.3

31.7

<0.000

Middle (n = 597)

67.6

32.4

Rich (n = 1,473)

81.2

18.8

Total (n = 3,265)

73.8

26.2

Number of children ever born

0-5 (n = 2,414)

76.1

23.9

<0.000

6-10 (n = 800)

66.9

33.1

>10 (n = 51)

71.3

28.7

Total (n = 3,265)

73.8

26.2

Number of reasons for which respondent justifies spousal violence

0 (и = 1,804)

80.9

19.1

<0.000

1 (n = 242)

75.9

24.1

2 («= 195)

66.4

33.6

3 (n = 230)

65.7

34.3

4 (n = 319)

56.4

43.6

5 (n = 475)

58.9

41.1

Total (n = 3,265)

73.8

26.2

Acceptance of violence

Don’t accept violence (n = 1,804)

80.9

19.1

<0.000

Accept violence (n =1,461)

63.2

36.8

Total (n = 3,265)

73.8

26.2

Respondent’s occupation

Woman does not work (n = 2,484)

75.1

24.9

0.105

Woman works (n = 781)

70.8

29.2

Total (n = 3,265)

73.8

26.2

Source: Pakistan Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) 2012-13.

number of children ever bom is greater than five) compared with when fewer children are ever bom (23.9 per cent when the number of children ever born is less than six).

For this study, we also ran a multivariate logistic regression model and results are provided in Table 7.2. While the higher level of educational attainment of the women as well as the educational level of their spouses are protective

Table 7.2 Multivariate logistic regression analysis

Experienced any less se>ere violence by husband

a OR

95% Confidence inteival

Altitudinal acceptance of violence

Does not accept violence

1.00

[1.00.1.00]

Accepts violence

44***

[1.19,1.74]

Respondent’s father ever beat her mother

No

1.00

[1.00. 1.00]

Yes

[5.05,7.58]

Number of children

0-5

1.00

[1.00. 1.00]

6-10

1.17

[0.95, 1.45]

>10

1.40

[0.76,2.56]

Currently pregnant

No

1.00

[1.00. 1.00]

Yes

1.06

[0.81, 1.38]

Wife’s educational attainment

Primary

1.00

[1.00. 1.00]

Secondary

0.89

[0.69, 1.16]

Higher

0.63*

[0.42, 0.93]

Husband's educational attainment

Primary

1.00

[1.00. 1.00]

Secondary

0.95

[0.77, 1.18]

Higher

0.74*

[0.56. 0.97]

Wealth Index

Poor

1.00

[1.00. 1.00]

Middle

1.27

[0.98, 1.64]

Rich

0.92

[0.69, 1.23]

Woman's occupation

Woman does not work

1.00

[1.00. 1.00]

Woman works

1.42**

[1.15, 1.76]

Residence

Urban

1.00

[1.00. 1.00]

Rural

1.06

[0.84, 1.35]

Constant

0is***

[0.13.0.24]

Observations

3265

/2

390.75

P

0.00

Source: Pakistan Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) 2012-13.

Notes

Exponentiated coefficients; 95% confidence intervals in brackets; a OR is adjusted odds ratio. *p < 0.05;

  • **p <0.01;
  • ***p< 0.001.

factors, altitudinal acceptance of spousal violence, respondents’ history of seeing spousal violence in her natal home in her childhood and woman’s working status are the risk factors. The women who justify spousal violence for some reason are 44 per cent more likely to experience spousal violence than the women who do not accept violence at all (OR=1.44; 95% Cl: 1.19-1.74). The women who saw their father beating their mother in childhood are more than six times more likely to experience spousal violence than the women who had no such experience (OR=6.19; 95% Cl: 5.05-7.58). Contrary to the understanding that the women who do a paid job have a better leverage on their marital life, we see that the women who do paid jobs are 42 per cent more likely to experience spousal violence than the women who do not do any paid job (OR= 1.42; 95% Cl: 1.15-1.76).

This paradox can be explained in several ways. In patriarchal societies, the women who challenge the existing social norms are made to fall in line through the use of force and violence.60 In the sociological literature, spousal violence against working women is explained in temis of the ‘male backlash’.61 According to the male backlash theory, a woman doing a paid job generally challenges the gender hierarchy in traditional societies. Consequently, men feel threatened due to the economic empowerment of women and use violence as a controlling mechanism.62 Another possibility is that most of the women who do any paid job undertake the low paid jobs which do not equip them with the economic and social clout enough to protect them against spousal violence.

Dominance analysis

Though several factors associated with IPV are identified in the literature and in this study as well, it is interesting to see the relative contribution of these factors to IPV. With this objective in mind, we undeitook a dominance analysis using a selected set of variables that are routinely analysed in the empirical literature on spousal violence. Table 7.3 shows that the single largest factor responsible for spousal violence relates to the woman’s household characteristics. The fact that the father of the respondent beat her mother in her childhood in her natal home

Table 7.3 Dominance analysis

Dominates

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

(S)

(9)

1

Acceptance of violence

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

2

Father beat respondent’s mother

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

3

Number of children

0

1

0

0

0

0

4

Currently pregnant

0

0

0

5

Respondent’s education

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

1

6

Husband’s education

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

7

Wealth status

0

0

0

0

0

8

Respondent’s occupation

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

9

Place of residence

0

0

0

0

0

Source: Pakistan Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) 2012-13. Note

1 Refers to complete dommance; 0 refers to general dominance is the largest risk factor for IPV. The second most important factor that completely dominates the impact of five other factors is related to attitudinal acceptance of violence by the respondent. Respondents’ education is a larger risk factor than the number of children, the current pregnancy status, the husband’s education, wealth status and the place of residence. The respondents’ occupation also plays some role which is greater than the current pregnancy status of the women. The place of residence has a general dominance over certain other factors, but it is not associated with any complete dominance.

Some important insights from the dominance analysis are that the behaviour of the father towards the mother of the respondent and the acceptance of violence on the part of the respondent and the respondents’ education are the most important risk factors for spousal violence. On closer inspection, the attitudinal acceptance of violence and the behaviour of the father towards the mother of the respondent are closely related because the childhood experience crucially shapes the attimde towards violence. There is compelling evidence to suggest that the women who have a childhood experience of spousal violence are more likely to condone violence when they grow up and assume the role of the wife.63

Atthudinal acceptance of violence stands out as a ver}' important tisk factor for spousal violence in Pakistan. We undertook a subgroup analysis of the relationship between atthudinal acceptance of violence and women’s observed experience of spousal violence. This technique summarises data within each level of each variable in the variable list defined in the model. The forest plot reflects (see Figure 7.2) how the attitudinal acceptance of violence affects the women’s observed experience of violence across a set of indicators. Acceptance of violence is a greater risk factor of the spousal violence when the respondent is not currently pregnant (OR=2.21; 95% Cl: 1.87-2.61), has a history of her father beating her mother (OR= 1.87; 95% Cl: 1.39-2.51), had secondary education (OR=2.10; 95% Cl: 1.40-3.14), did a paid job (OR=2.32; 95% Cl: 1.71- 3.14), lived in a rural area (OR=2.15; 95% Cl: 1.74-2.65) and belonged to the rich Wealth Index (OR=2.35; 95% Cl: 1.81-3.06). It is important to note that the attitudinal acceptance of violence is a significant risk factor for spousal violence across all the levels (subgroups) of all the variables apail from the higher education level in the education variable. Secondary education as a risk factor of domestic violence is counter-intuitive. However, many studies have seen an unexpected relationship between education and experience of domestic violence. It is argued that an increase in women’s education may make their behaviour towards their husbands aggressive which in turn can invite a backlash in the form of increased violence by their spouses.64

 
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