Journal Article

Women’s and men’s relative status and intimate partner violence in India

In recent years, gender-based violence in South Asia has been of great concern to scholars and policymakers alike. This study explores the effects of women's relative resources on several dimensions of intimate partner violence in India, and tests whether economic resources allow women to "bargain" for less violence, or exacerbate the violence they face. To explore both possibilities, I use data from the 2005-06 Indian National Family Health Survey. The findings indicate that women with relatively higher education, employment, or earnings status than their spouse face more frequent and severe violence than women with lower status. Together, these findings suggest that women's superior material power bases threaten patriarchal norms and are responded to with the use of violence.