...I just don't know what to say to this. Well, ok I have lots to say, but just read it for yourself.
36% women say 'wife beating justified'
A large number of women who are the worst victims of spousal violence believe that husbands have the right to beat up their wives if they neglect their children, argue with husbands or disobey the elders, specially mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law, revealed a government survey recently.
A total of 36 percent women believe that a husband is justified in bashing his wife for any of the aforesaid reasons, but the most widely accepted reason for wife beating among women in the country is disobeying elders like mothers/fathers-in-law, according to the 5th and latest Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2007.
Again, 24 percent women believe that if a husband beats up his wife for disobeying elders is justified, followed by 22 percent who believe that arguing with husbands is justified, 18 percent for going out without telling their husbands while 16 percent for neglecting children is justified. Only nine percent of women feel that denying sex is an acceptable reason for a man to beat up his wife.
On the other hand, 36 percent men aged between 15 and 49 years agree that at least one of the reasons given is sufficient justification for wife beating. Men are most likely to justify beating their wives if they argue with their husbands (25 percent), followed by showing disrespect to elders (23 percent).
Like women, men are least likely to say that refusal to have sex (4 percent) is a ground for wife beating. About 16 percent of men feel that neglecting the children or going out without telling them are justifiable reasons for wife beating.
Forty nine percent married women have ever experienced some forms of physical violence by their husbands, 53 percent have experienced some forms of physical or sexual violence while 13 percent have experienced both types of violence.
Eighteen percent women are physically forced to have sex by their husbands when they do not want to.
The study showed that the most common act of physical violence is slapping. Forty six percent married women are being slapped by their husbands. The next common act of physical violence is being pushed, shaken or having something thrown at them (30 percent).
Almost 17 percent of married women reported that their husbands punch them with their fists or with something that can hurt them. Fifteen percent of women are victims of kicking, dragging and beating. An equal percentage reported that their husbands twist their arms or pulled their hair.
The survey also stated that physical violence is directly related to the duration of the marriage. Thirty percent of women who got married less than five years ago reported having their experience of physical violence, compared with 47 percent of women married off between five and nine years and 54 percent more than 10 years' after their marriage.
Women residing in Chittagong and Sylhet experience less physical violence compared with women in other divisions.
The survey also showed that age at marriage is higher in Chittagong and Sylhet compared with other divisions. Sexual violence is lowest in Sylhet and Khulna while highest in Barisal. Twenty one percent of married women in Barisal reported sexual violence, followed by 20 percent of women in Dhaka.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad President Ayesha Khanam told The Daily Star, “Vigorous campaign about the rights of women are the best way to stop such violence. This is really unfortunate that male partners or husbands here think that without torturing their female partners, their power is not being exercised.”
On the other hand, there is no alternative to empowering and making women aware of their rights in family. The law enforcement agencies should come forward to stopping such heinous spousal violence, said leader of the women's human rights-based organisation