Women's Status, Marital Power Relations, and Wife Beating in Egypt

Zhihong Sa, University of Maryland

This paper explores the individual and household characteristics associated with wife beating in Egypt, using data from the 1995 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS-95). The analysis focuses on women's status and patterns of household decision-making as measures of spousal power dynamics. The results provide partial support for the argument that women's empowerment can reduce the risk of intimate violence. Increased education of both men and women lowers the incidence of wife beating. Women's paid employment and their domination of household decision-making are unrelated to violence, and women's unpaid employment and husband or other family member's domination of household decisions are associated with higher risks of violence. Lower levels of household socioeconomic status, households' residence in urban and more-developed areas, and non-traditional marriage pattern are strongly associated with higher risks of violence. Policy implications for interventions in intimate violence in developing countries are discussed.

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Presented in Session 74: Suicide and Gender-Based Violence