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Measuring Women's Empowerment: lessons to better understand domestic violence

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  • Diana Lopez-Avila

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper aims at shedding light on the relationship between women's empowerment and domestic violence. For this, we explore different ways to measure women's empowerment and domestic violence, and analyze whether the relation depends on the definitions used. We take advantage of a rich data set collected in rural Colombia, including several measures of self-esteem, disagreement towards domestic violence, participation in household decisions and social capital; and analyze the relationship with both aggressive and controlling ways of domestic violence. The results indicate that the different measures of women's empowerment help explain much better the aggressive ways of domestic violence than the controlling ones. Our results show a positive correlation between women's empowerment and domestic violence. This goes in line with the theories that argue that men use violence as a way to leverage their power within the household. Among the different latent measures of women's empowerment we used, we found that social capital and self-esteem are significantly correlated with aggressive domestic violence. We do not find that more common proxies, such as women's participation in household decisions, are significantly correlated to domestic violence.

Suggested Citation

  • Diana Lopez-Avila, 2016. "Measuring Women's Empowerment: lessons to better understand domestic violence," PSE Working Papers halshs-01294565, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-01294565
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01294565
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; Domestic Violence; Household bargaining models; Social Capital; D13; I15; J12; J16; O12;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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