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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 23;8(12):e82423. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082423. eCollection 2013.

Does gender inequity increase the risk of intimate partner violence among women? Evidence from a national Bangladeshi sample.

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International Health Section, Division of Public Health, Graduate School of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.
Health Promotion, Division of Public Health, Graduate School of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2014;9(2):e91448.



Evidence from developing countries regarding the association between gender inequity and intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization in women has been suggestive but inconclusive. Using nationally representative population-based data from Bangladesh, we examined the association between multidimensional aspects of gender inequity and the risk of IPV.


We used data from the 2007 Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey. The analyses were based on the responses of 4,467 married women. The main explanatory variable was gender inequity, which reflects the multidimensional aspects of women's autonomy and the relationship inequality between women and their partner. The experience of physical and/or sexual IPV was the main outcome variable of interest.


Over 53% of married Bangladeshi women experienced physical and/or sexual violence from their husbands. In the adjusted models, women who had a higher level of autonomy (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.48; 99% confidence interval [CI] 0.37-0.61), a particularly high level of economic-decision-making autonomy (AOR 0.12; 99% CI 0.08-0.17), and a higher level of non-supportive attitudes towards wife beating or raping (AOR 0.61; 99% CI 0.47-0.83) were less likely to report having experienced IPV. Education level, age at marriage, and occupational discrepancy between spouses were also found to be significant predictors of IPV.


In conclusion, dimensions of gender inequities were significant predictors of IPV among married women in Bangladesh. An investigation of the causal link between multidimensional aspects of gender inequity and IPV will be critical to developing interventions to reduce the risk of IPV and should be considered a public health research priority.

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