Female Economic Empowerment and Intimate Partner Violence in El Salvador - A Minor Field Study
Sammanfattning: Research shows that women’s labour market participation in low- and middle-income countries promotes female economic empowerment. However, it is still unclear if and how increased economic opportunities, e.g. through labour market participation, affects women’s exposure to intimate partner violence and overall well-being. Economic bargaining models shed light on the economic empowerment of women and suggest that it should decrease intimate partner violence. The idea is that access to monetary recourses put women in a less vulnerable position against men in the household. In contrast, the sociological male-backlash model predicts that increased female economic empowerment might have a negative affect on women’s well-being. Given women’s increased power position in the household men try to make restitution for their decreased authority. Gender theorists criticise both theories for not including culture, social norms and contexts. This Minor Field Study aims to explore and discuss how female economic empowerment, as women capacity in terms of monetary resources, affects the extent of exposure of intimate partner violence in a context of a macho culture. The data analysed relies on a field survey conducted in three cities in El Salvador during April and May 2018 and the sample includes 312 female participants. Regression results show that measures of economic empowerment sometimes are insignificant, but also that women having an employment and a paid income seem to be significantly more exposed to intimate partner violence in El Salvador, in line with the backlash model. Traditional gender norms thus seems challenged and hinder women from taking full advantage of increased economic empowerment.
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