The fifth National Family and Health Survey detailed report showed that close to 45 percent women and 44 percent men were okay with husbands beating their wives for seven reasons listed in a detailed questionnaire. Furthermore, around 32 percent of married women reported to have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence by their spouses in their married lives
However, this experience of violence is not limited to women with lower levels of education or those who do not have any purchasing powers in their households. About 20 percent of the women with more than 12 years of schooling and 19 percent women belonging to the high-income wealth group reported to have experienced violence by their husbands.
Similarly, about 38 percent women and 39 percent men with 12 or more years of schooling believed that the husband was justified to beat the wife if she went out without telling him, neglected the house or the children, argued with him, refused to have sex with him, did not cook properly, suspected she was unfaithful, or disrespected his parents.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released this detailed national report following the release of the fact-sheets in November last year. This report highlights all the questions that were asked to people between the ages of 15-49 and helped the team of researchers to determine the final indicators. Questions on the standard of living, education, religion of the respondents further helped understand the socio-economic and demographic diversity in the country and its role on the differences in indicators.
At a time when the courts are divided on whether a husband forcefully having sexual intercourse with his wife should be called as marital rape, the survey showed heartening results on refusal of sex. About 80 percent women and 66 percent men said that it was justifiable for a woman to refuse sex to her husband. The questionnaire also defines the reasons under which the wife can refuse sex- she knows he has a sexually transmitted disease; she knows he has sex with other women, and if she is tired or not in the mood.
Between the fourth round of the survey conducted in 2015-16 and the fifth round now, the proportion of men and women who agree that a woman has the right to refuse sex to her husband for any of the three reasons has substantially increased by three and 12 percentage points respectively.
On the flip side, 4.6 percent women even said that their husbands forced them to have sex with them. About 70 percent of the 33 percent women who reported experienced abuse shared that their husbands frequently consumed alcohol. Four percent women also reported to be physically violent with their husbands when the husband was not abusing them.
Updated On: 2022-05-11T16:23:59+05:30