Journal Article

Domestic violence against women in Egypt—Wife beating and health outcomes

Research has consistently demonstrated that a woman is more likely to be abused by an intimate partner than by any other person. Many negative health consequences to the victims have been associated with domestic violence against women. Data from the 1995 Egyptian Demographic and Health Survey, a nationally representative household survey, were analyzed for 6566 currently married women age 15-49 who responded to both the main questionnaire and a special module on women’s status. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to examine the association of ever-beating, beating in past year or frequency of beatings in past year with contraceptive use, pregnancy management, and report of health problems. Thirty-four percent of women in the sample were ever beaten by their current husband while 16% were beaten in the past year. Ever-beaten women were more likely to report health problems necessitating medical attention as were women beaten in the past year compared to never-beaten women. Regarding reproductive health, higher frequency of beating was associated with non-use of a female contraceptive method, while ante-natal care (ANC) by a health professional for the most recent baby born in the past year was less likely among ever-beaten women (OR=0.17, p<0.05). Unexpectedly, among professional ANC patients, those ever-abused were more likely to make four or more visits (OR=36.54, p<0.05). In Egypt as elsewhere around the world, wife beating is related to various negative health outcomes. Women’s programmes must take domestic violence into account if they want to better address the needs of a non-negligible proportion of their target population.