Women’s Household Decision-Making and Intimate Partner Violence in Ethiopia

Nasser B. Ebrahim, Madhu S. Atteraya


Women’s household decision-making, a reflection of interpersonal power dynamics in intimate relationships is assumed to play a central role in eliminating violence against women. Thus we sought to examine the association between women’s household decision-making autonomy and the occurrence of intimate partner violence (IPV) among Ethiopian women. We used data gathered in the 2016 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS-2016). We limited our study to ever-married women (aged: 15 - 49 years) who responded to the domestic violence questions (n = 4,469). Sampling weights were applied and effects associated with complex survey design were accounted for. Overall, 24%, 23.1%, and 10.1% of women have experienced emotional abuse, physical violence, or sexual violence, respectively in their lifetimes. The relationship between demographic variables and IPV were inconsistent and mostly non-significant. We found significant association between decision-making autonomy and IPV variables. Women who made decisions jointly with their husbands/partners had lower risk of domestic violence as compared to women with low level of household decision-making autonomy. No significant difference between women in the low and high level of decision-making groups. Egalitarian family power structures may be beneficial toward reducing IPV and achieving gender equality in Ethiopia.

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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