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Abstract

Wife beating, a form of intimate partner violence that is used as a tool to correct wives’ behavior, is not acceptable in most parts of the world. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a global health problem and is far more than a dilemma; it is a systemic form of abuse that is the third major cause of death around the world. Despite it being unacceptable in most parts of the world, in its different forms, wife beating is still a commonly practiced pattern of behavior that pervades all societies, patriarchal ones in particular. This is a problem in the patriarchal Pakistani society. The present study aims to investigate the acceptance and justification of violence (wife beating) among women. The present research uses secondary data from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) conducted by the National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS) in 2012-13. The results show that attitudes towards wife beating, either justified or unjustified, vary with differing socio-demographic factors, such as age, region, area of residence, education, and wealth index. Education and wealth index variables show a highly significant relationship in determining justification of wife beating. More than half of the respondents did not justify wife beating in any given circumstance. The study divulges a significant relationship between socio-demographic factors and the justification of wife beating in different circumstances. These justifiable circumstances include: beating if a wife goes to the market or any other place without her husband’s permission; if she ignores her children; if she confronts or tries to reason with him; if she declines to have sex; and if she burns food. Attitudes regarding whether certain circumstances are justifiable or not varies with socio-demographic factors such as age, region, area of residence, education, and wealth index. More than half of the respondents do not justify wife beating under any given circumstances. The most widely accepted reason for wife beating in Pakistan is arguing with one’s husband, while the most unacceptable reason for wife beating is burning food.

Note on the Author

Dr. Muhammad Saud is currently working as a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia. He is a young researcher based in South and East Asia. Email: muhhammad.saud@gmail.com

Ms. Asia Ashfaq is working as cluster head of Anthropology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Her main research interests are gender and migration.

Dr. Siti Mas'udah is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia. Her main areas of expertise are family and marriages. Email: siti.masudah@fisip.unair.ac.id

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