, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 269–288

Women’s status and domestic violence in rural Bangladesh: Individual- and community-level effects

  • Michael A. Koenig
  • Saifuddin Ahmed
  • Mian Bazle Hossain
  • A. B. M. Khorshed Alam Mozumder


We explore the determinants of domestic violence in two rural areas of Bangladesh. We found increased education, higher socioeconomic status, non-Muslim religion, and extended family residence to be associated with lower risks of violence. The effects of women’s status on violence was found to be highly context-specific. In the more culturally conservative area, higher individual-level women’s autonomy and short-term membership in savings and credit groups were both associated with significantly elevated risks of violence, and community-level variables were unrelated to violence. In the less culturally conservative area, in contrast, individual-level women’s status indicators were unrelated to the risk of violence, and community-level measures of women’s status were associated with significantly lower risks of violence, presumably by reinforcing nascent normative changes in gender relations.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Koenig
    • 1
  • Saifuddin Ahmed
    • 1
  • Mian Bazle Hossain
    • 2
  • A. B. M. Khorshed Alam Mozumder
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, Bloomberg School of Public HealthThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore
  2. 2.Public Health ProgramMorgan State UniversityBaltimore
  3. 3.Health Systems and Infectious Diseases DivisionICDDR,B: Center for Health and Population ResearchDhakaBangladesh

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