Empowering girls, delaying marriage: Exploring the role of marital age and education on domestic violence in India

Ghislandi, S., Muttarak, R. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0627-4451, & Shaikh, M. (2020). Empowering girls, delaying marriage: Exploring the role of marital age and education on domestic violence in India. IIASA Working Paper. Laxenburg, Austria: WP-20-002

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Domestic violence represents the most important component of violence against women. Whilst some literature report female empowerment as a protective factor against domestic violence, some literature find the opposite because the husband may attempt to compensate for the enhanced status of his wife. This paper aims to investigate the effects of female empowerment in the form of marital age and education on domestic violence in India, where intimate partner violence is amongst the highest in Asia. The analysis is based on the sample of eligible women aged 15-49 with valid response on domestic violence in the 2015- 2016 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) (n=9722). Upon estimating a series of instrumental variable
(IV) regressions using age at menarche as an exogenous and strong instrument, we establish a causal relationship between empowerment and domestic violence taking into account the endogeneity of marital age and education. We further disentangle the relationships between domestic violence and age at marriage and education, separately. In addition, we investigate how maritage age and education influence domestic violence through labour market participation and spouse quality channels. We find that: i) empowered women do experience less domestic violence; ii) marital age and education are partially complementary; iii) labour market participation and spousal quality are relevant mediators of these relationships. Policies aiming at reducing domestic violence in India hence should be holistic, focussing on investing in education both for women and men and improving the conditions of the women’ labour market.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2020 09:31
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2021 10:12
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16302

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