Magnitude and correlates of intimate partner violence against female garment workers from selected factories in Bangladesh

Naved, Ruchira Tabassum
Mamum, Mahfuz Al
Willan, Samantha
Gibbs, Andrew
Yu, Marat
Jewkes, Rachel
Parvin, Kausar
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Public Library of Science
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a huge public health, development and human rights issue worldwide. Despite the fact that working women in patriarchal contexts commonly report higher level of IPV, literature on this subject is still scanty. This paper assessed the magnitude of different types of IPV against female garment workers and identified its correlates using cross-sectional survey data collected during September-December, 2016 from 800 female garment workers randomly selected from lists provided by eight garment factories in and around Dhaka, Bangladesh. The results reveal high levels of IPV experienced by the workers (physical = 34%; sexual = 43%; economic = 35%, last 12 months). Logistic regression results were nuanced. While the worker’s ability to mobilize resources in crises reduced IPV, her savings beyond a threshold increased its likelihood. Moreover, her ownership of jewellery/ large household assets increased the likelihood of IPV. Having moderately or highly controlling husband, substance abuse by husband and his involvement in extramarital sex predicted IPV. Although the worker’s education up to 6 years or more was protective, education more than the husband increased the likelihood of IPV. Young age, having two or more children, experience of non-partner sexual violence and high acceptance of IPV increased the likelihood of IPV. Middle income group protected against IPV, while household food insecurity increased its likelihood. Work at a factory in the Export Processing Zone protected against IPV. The findings indicate that financial empowerment alone is not sufficient to protect the workers from IPV; interventions that combine gender empowerment training for workers in the context of better factory working conditions may be useful in reducing IPV; working with men is essential in this endeavour.
Intimate partner violence - Bangladesh , Women clothing workers - Bangladesh - Social conditions , Women clothing workers - Bangladesh - Economic conditions , Abusive men - Bangladesh , Patriarchy