Gender norms, bargaining power and intimate partner violence (A case study in Papua New Guinea)

Alexander Smith

Intimate partner violence against women is a global scourge, but it is particularly high in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Policymakers often focus on female economic empowerment as one important mechanism for reducing the prevalence of violence, however this ignores entrenched gender norms which expect male partners to be the primary breadwinners of the household. This paper is the first to compare competing household bargaining and gender norms theories in PNG. Using the 2016-18
Demographic and Health Survey, I find higher levels of household wealth and employment are associated with higher levels of intimate partner physical (and/or sexual) violence against women. Furthermore, I find
that women who report earning more cash than their partner experience rates of violence 17.2 percentage points higher than those who did not break this norm. These findings imply that boosting the economic status of women alone is insufficient to reduce intimate partner violence against women in PNG.

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Research Type(s)
Blog – Institutional
April 18, 2024
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