Survey shows 30% women across 14 states, UTs justify men beating their wives

Published on Nov 28, 2021 04:19 PM IST

Data from the NFHS-5 showed that more than 75% women respondents across three states justified men beating their wives in - Telangana (84%), Andhra Pradesh (84%) and Karnataka (77%).

Harmful gender social norms help justify violence against women and girls.(Representative Image/Shutterstock/HT)
Harmful gender social norms help justify violence against women and girls.(Representative Image/Shutterstock/HT)
Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The latest findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) revealed that at least 30% of women respondents across 14 states and Union Territories justified women getting beaten by their husbands under certain circumstances.

Data from the NFHS-5 showed that more than 75% women respondents across three states justified men beating their wives in - Telangana (84%), Andhra Pradesh (84%) and Karnataka (77%).

Women respondents from states like Manipur (66%), Kerala (52%), Jammu and Kashmir (49%), Maharashtra (44%) and West Bengal (42%) justified men beating their wives. The NFHS in its survey questioned, “In your opinion, is a husband justified in hitting or beating his wife?”. More than 30% women from as many as 14 states and Union Territories said, “Yes’.

The most common reasons put forth by these respondents were neglecting the house or children and being disrespectful towards in-laws among other reasons like suspicion of being unfaithful, being argumentative, refusal to have sex, going out without informing the husband, neglecting the household and not cooking good food.

Women respondents in Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Gujarat, Nagaland, Goa, Bihar, Karnataka, Assam, Maharashtra, Telangana, Nagaland and West Bengal highlighted that ‘disrespect to in-laws’ is the primary justification towards men beating their husbands. Only 14.8% women respondents from Himachal Pradesh justified husbands beating their wives. The number of women respondents is high in Telangana where as much as 84% respondents felt such behaviour is fair.

More than 81.09% male respondents from Karnataka justified beating their wives compared to 14.2% in Himachal Pradesh.

Amita Pitre, lead specialist, Gender Justice: Oxfam India while speaking to news agency PTI said that the organisation while working with women found that harmful gender social norms help justify violence against women and girls. “All the reasons cited to justify violence on women are a product of these norms: if she neglects the house or children, if she refuses to have sex with the husband, if she doesn't cook food properly. All these define how women should behave in society,” Pitre was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. Pitre highlighted that it is important that women move away from such men if gender-based violence against women has to stop.

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