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Renuka Gupta ( Gender Researcher )     06 September 2010

In India Domestic Violence rises with Education


In India, Domestic Violence Rises with Education

Debate about the cultural underpinnings of domestic violence in India is being stirred by a study that found a woman's risk of being beaten, kicked or hit rises with her level of education.

NEW DELHI, India (WOMENSENEWS)--In New Delhi, India, a brilliant doctor tries to commit suicide after her husband slaps her for contradicting him in front of his friends.

In Manila, Philippines, a former beauty queen tells police she was coerced into "entertaining other men" after being locked in a room without food for days by her husband.

In Santiago, Chile, neighbors respond to distress calls from a woman battered by herhusband for refusing to let him watch aparticular TV program in front of the children.

In Cairo, Egypt, the wife of a highly placed bureaucrat finally speaks up after enduring years of physical and mental abuse for being unable to bear a child.

The incidents were documented in a series of studies carried out by the Washington-based International Center for Research on Women in collaboration with independent Indian researchers. The cross-cultural study looked at the problem of domestic abuse in India, Egypt, Chile and the Philippines and found that violence against women was prevalent across regions, communities and classes.

New Round of Debate


While the findings are not new, the study has incubated a new round of debate about the cultural underpinnings to domestic violence, especially in India, where the study found a woman's risk of being beaten, kicked or hit rose along with her level of education.

In the aftermath of the report, advocates are anxious that the data not be used to retard the push for women's education. That effort was given new urgency this week with the release of a report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, finding that girls in many countries continue to face "sharp discrimination in access to schooling." The report also finds that girls in India had just a little better than three-quarters the chance of boys to receive a primary-school education.

"Interpretation of this data needs to be done very sensitively," warned Preet Rustagi, a junior fellow at the New Delhi-based Center for Women's Development Studies. "Education is an empowering tool for women and should not be seen as impacting negatively. In fact, this correlation points to the imperative need for an attitudinal change among men and society in general." Rustagi has analyzed crime records relating to violence against women and also found a correlation between education and domestic violence.

Risk Rises with Education


According to the 2002 study, 45 percent of Indian women are slapped, kicked or beaten by their husbands. India also had the highest rate of violence during pregnancy. Of the women reporting violence, 50 percent were kicked, beaten or hit when pregnant. About 74.8 percent of the women who reported violence have attempted to commit suicide.

Kumud Sharma of the Centre for Women's Development Studies in New Delhi traced the correlation between education and domestic violence to patriarchal attitudes. "Educated women are aware of their rights," she said. "They are no longer willing to follow commands blindly. When they ask questions, it causes conflicts, which, in turn, leads to violence. In many Indian states, working women are asked to hand over their paycheck to the husband and have no control over their finances. So, if they stop doing so or start asserting their right, there is bound to be friction."

Domestic violence experts say the problem in India stems from a cultural bias against women who challenge their husband's right to control their behavior. Women who do this---even by asking for household money or stepping out of the house without their permission--are seen as punishable. This process leads men to believe their notion of masculinity and manhood is reflected to the degree to which they control their wives.

"The behavior of men stems from their understanding of masculinity," said Nandita Bhatla, researcher with the International Center for Research on Women, "and what their role should be vis-a-vis women, especially their wives."

Problem of Perception


Men have always been taught to perceive themselves as the superior s*x, said Jyotsna Chatterjee, director of the Joint Women's Program, a women's resource organization based in New Delhi. It is this conditioning, she said, that makes them believe they have to control their wives, especially if they are considered disobedient.

Although men's preoccupation with controlling their wives declines with age--as does the incidence of s*xual violence--researchers found that the highest rates of s*xual violence were among highly educated men. Thirty-two percent of men with zero years of education and 42 percent men with one-to-five years of education reported s*xual violence. Among men with six-to-10 years of education--as well as those with high-school education and higher--this figure increased to 57 percent.

A similar pattern was seen when the problem was analyzed according to income and socioeconomic standing. Those at the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder--migrant labor, cobblers, carpenters, and barbers--showed a s*xual violence rate of 35 percent. The rate almost doubled to 61 percent among the highest income groups.

Researchers have not determined why men with higher incomes and educations are more likely to be violent towards women.

Charming Colleague Is Revealed to Be a Wife Beater


Indian theater personality and feminist Tripurari Sharma was shocked to learn that a well-educated and respected actor in her theater group was abusing his wife, also an established actress.

"He was the most helpful, cordial and endearing man," she said. "His wife would attend rehearsals with bruises at times that she would cover up. Later, I found out she was being beaten. If the actress herself had not told me, I would have never believed it. So, I think it is a myth to think that the high education and economic status will lessen the risk of violence against women."

Equally disturbing is the finding that two of every five women in an abusive relationship in India remain silent about their suffering because of shame and family honor. The studies have also shown, nearly one-third of the Indian women experiencing abuse had thought about running away, but most said they feared leaving their young children and had no place to go. Activists felt that for intervention strategies to succeed, attitudes about violence would have to change and the level of awareness, among both men and women, about the negative impact of violence had to be raised.

Swapna Majumdar is a journalist based in New Delhi writing on politics, gender and development issues.



For more information:

International Center for Research on Women:

Center for Health and Gender Equality:

Centre for Development and Population Activities:

Source: We.News



 16 Replies

Adv Archana Deshmukh (Practicing Advocate)     06 September 2010

I don't think that domestic violence raises with education amongst women. With education awareness and assertiveness increases and the woman who was silently suffering the violence as a part of her destiny till then, started speaking up and expressed her greviences. Also along with the awareness about the laws makes her use the laws (sometimes misuse too!). Things which hitherto remained in the 4 walls of the house are brought on the surface due to the increase in awareness and assertiveness in women. Nothing more than that, I don't thing education have increased dv.

1 Like


Yes I agree, more is education level of a wife , more is she violent towards her husband and in laws.


 Renuka - are you going to advocate that  based on what you have written, lets stop educating people?


@ RG

So you are making good use of a aam adami's given list (my enemy list) of some of Delhi based women .org. to you as one of my forum messages 2 months back as cross link reference !

I am happy to note this much progress on gender research.

Coming back to main topic, well I see "education empowernement of a lady" as a good evolution series / sign o fprogress for ladies and add that the more educated a lady is the more she will use the Law either to her favor or otherwise and in such statistical findings what will pop is more reporting of "domestic violence" cases (un tried issues of facts as media masala) and actual findings / facts not many gender researchers will have guts to trail and then report in public forums at the end of so called years of so called trial of domestic violence. 


A aam adami's take on below INDIAN RESEARCH: @ RG how about comment on pure 100% INDIAN RESEARCH for a change ? Now a Que. to you.

Que 1:
Are Gender Researchers fudge research ?

Title of this Post:  Girls face 8 times more violence from Mother than MIL – NFHS Survey

The National Family Health Survey’s third report (available at has some interesting statistics to share. It was a survey done on 30000 women from different parts of India and social strata. It was revealed that in the age range of 15-49, it is the mother of the woman who perpetrates more violence on her rather than her MIL.

International studies have also proved that daughters-in-law are programmed to hate their mothers-in-law. When the relation is onset with hatred it can never blossom into a healthy relationship, it will always be strained and poisoned. Moreover, due to adverse social hard wiring, it is the mother-in-law who is projected negatively and made responsible for everything. At the end of the day, it’s the MIL who gives her son and property to her daughter-in-law. And she is the one who has to face the brunt of the fallacy as she’s held responsible in case the marriage does not work.

It has been a scientifically and also statistically established fact that mothers-in-laws are unnecessarily maligned and subjected to judgmental attitudes by society.

All India Mother-in-Law Protection Forum (AIMPF, HQ in B’lore), a first ever social forum created to protect the rights and interests of the mother-in-law opened its Chandigarh Chapter on its first anniversary. AIMPF is a non-funded non-profit organization working towards uplifting these mothers-in-law by creating awareness and giving them moral support. The helpline Number is 95696 - 63161. Absolutely no surprise, it got over 50 calls on the launching day itself.


Credit (Source) from following:-

Renuka Gupta ( Gender Researcher )     07 September 2010

Please read the article very carefully. What Archanji said is true, but then it is in sync with the article, Archanaji. One of the members said I am advocating that women should not be educated. Please read the article again which warns the readers that it should not be interpreted that way. Read it again and not in a hurry to comment.

Archana ji these have been the finding of not only this study but other field level studies also. When women start raising thier voices and understand that homes may be site of  violence and worst sort of violence, it is not accepted by the perpetrators because their values have not changes. Along with the education and economic empowerment of women, a change is needed in the attitudes of men, a tremendous change. Here I am not talking about the high profile women and men, I am talking about the vast section of marginalised and middle class women among some of them resist and expereince the backlash of the constructed gender norms for men , and some of them still silently suffer till the matter comes to an  extreme. 

Now please read the article again. What you and I and this article are saying is not different.

1 Like

Renuka Gupta ( Gender Researcher )     07 September 2010

When a woman  questions the age old norms, when one questions the power balance, when one discerns the difference between access to and control over--both are not the same though they are often misunderstood as same. These are uneasy questions, but they are questions giving way to legitimate resistance which result in backlashes in that private sphere called home. Why do you think otherwise there was such a sharp division between public and private spaces. Laws like PWDV have blurred that space to some extent. But even now as I wrote earlier cases of DV are far too less because contrary to what most members opine here it is not at the drop of hat that a woman invokes this remedy, but at the extreme situation. And suddenly this reality is not accepted, women who resist and demand their rightful remedies are branded as prostitutes, beggars and revengeful. I am  talking about majority of women here, not a few women who may have misused this law, and majority of women do not even take recourse to this law, in spite of their education.

Someone asked me if it is my research? Please see the source which is given very clearly. No, it is not my research but corroborates the findings of my research.  

1 Like


I am hearing for the first time in the world  .. that author is dictating that how the interference should be taken out of article.


You are doing research or forcing  your opinion?


Mada'm first learn how scientific reserach are done ..... and how conclusion are derived.  I gave you a couple of ways, for scope of reaserch,  in my earleir posting that will help you  effectively research the topic and conclude  whether  violence is against woman/man or whether it is  a general phenomena.


Otherwise you will keep spewing things which are not even worth the paper you write it on.... such as current one.


Well, are we heading towards better or worse in relation to across gender relationship?


@ RG, I have started seeing female version of Mr. Prabhakar in you, to come up with force thinking in "majority of women" to take shelter in Domestic Violence Act by being educated ! Madam RG,  Hon'ble SC has said about Domestic Violence Act to be most clumsy drafted Act and now you keep corroborating it further and BTW where was your research when Parliament Standing Committee called for general public opinion on Domestic Violence Act , see my two part article in LCI forum on it which I sent to Parliament Standing Committee the very same day they called for such public opinion.

Kindly understand a victim (female) knows whom to approach and rest the Advocates and Police over helps the same victim with and for a victim getting justice is more important than usage of DV Act or 498a or otherwise any other Act / Codes. Don't distort relaity with such over research and corroborations. You may not even have simple idea that a illeterate women has moved SC with simple postcard and SC helped such women check trhis with yoru godfather and god brothers here if they know this much Law then they will guide you further. Like your godfather Mr Prabhakar himself says in one of his article that "unless 498a and or dowry is mentioned in a victims complaint the police will not take such complaints seriously - so now you are lecturing readers especially female readers that you give masala of domestic violenence since you are ecucated so that your complaint under domestic violence is taken seriously- ekdum sahi hai yeh bhi madam" So this is the forced gender research you have come up with now ? My prophacy came true some days back when I commented upon you that you are wearing "rainbow glasses" :-)

A suggestion if you like, just like Mr Prabhakar came up with three part article on 498a which I rebutted with six plus one seperate part articles, you come with similar nature of article on HOW TO FILE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT for which you will already get enough masala from my earlier two part complete interpretation of DV Act section by section and rules by rules. Hence, I as one of the reader here expect your version very soon of How to file Domestic Violence Act one or two parts or as many part articles as you may choose to write here in LCI forum ?  Accept this open public challenge from me since I see your understanding on Domestic Violence Act corroborations so you will be the best author to write such articles and then see my rebutted takes by takes to such mischief articles.

Renuka Gupta ( Gender Researcher )     07 September 2010

I never much read that post Mr. Arun Kumar. And even if I read I do not remember. Anyone who is in the field and academics both, would know of these organisation and these studies. And I did find them relevant to post it here. That's all from me. Why one should not get connected to the organisations based in Delhi. There is a networking among most of women's groups, and other human rights organisations, I need not tell you because I assume a well read person like you do know it. 

I did not post the international study which came to the same conclusion in Nicaragua because then members would have said oh, this is a latin American reality. You are no where in my bibliography and references though I appreciated your meticulous referencing in one of my replies to you. Perhaps you also must be knowing that academic research do require a sound secondary research review and hence whenver I think the reference is relevant and can be  posted in the LCI forum, I do it. 

Your sarcasm sometimes borders on cynicism and I need not respond to cynicism. 

Also, My research does not need  certificate of excellence or improvement from you.  Nor does it need to be approved by Mr. Avinash. 

Who said I am bound to fulfill your expectation from me!! No thanks sir, I do not need a pat from you on my back.  

@ Avinash

I am not the author of the article, to remind you very gently. And since I am not the author of the article, I can always point out how the title should not be taken at its face value and gave my take on the article which I said is corroborated with some of the  field findings of our  research based on  focus group discussions with both women and men   If you take the title  at its face value, do please your self. 

Renuka Gupta ( Gender Researcher )     07 September 2010

Also Mr. Avinash my postings are not my papers. So much for your reading!! 

The paper is not you neither read the paper nor my postings..but well, I do not blame you. We have to choose and read, we can't be reading all that comes our ways..well, where is the time for that?


Thanks Renuka,

Thats was some understandable posting from you.

As far as certificate is concerned.... I am not here to give certificate. I pointed out what why the study is incomplete and derives wrong conclusion. and what could be remedies.  Any researcher will ignore them for their own peril.


Let us discuss, do, undo sans taunts.Right?

Renuka Gupta ( Gender Researcher )     07 September 2010

@ Avinash


Point well taken and appreciated about your suggestion. 


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