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Where women think it's OK for a husband to hit his wife

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 9 Mar 2012 15:43 GMT
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LONDON (TrustLaw) - She goes out without telling him, neglects the children, argues with him, refuses sex – any of these actions would justify a husband beating­­­ his wife, according to a large percentage of women in countries including Jordan, Ethiopia and Congo.

A chart published this week by The Economist showed that 90 percent of women in Jordan aged between 15 and 49 years think it would be OK for a husband hit his wife under such circumstances. In Ethiopia 81 percent of women think so, while in Congo and Somalia it is 76 percent.

Among the G20 industrialised countries, in India 51 percent of women agree, while in Indonesia 31 percent of women think beatings would be justifiable under such circumstances  and in Turkey 25 percent of females agree, the chart shows.

The chart is based on data collected by UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s agency. UNICEF’s global database contains data drawn from household surveys from 81 countries on women’s attitudes towards wife-beating and also on men’s attitudes, where available.

UNICEF data show that almost half of women aged 15-49 in developing countries think that a husband is justified in hitting his wife under those circumstances and that adolescent girls were just as likely to justify wife-beating as older women. Supportive attitudes towards wife-beating were also widespread among adolescent boys in the developing world, the data shows.

The Economist said the data are not from the same household surveys and that any comparisons should be drawn with that in mind. Also, some countries are not covered by these datasets.


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