69 percent Kerala housewives ‘approve of’ domestic violence!


Sreelakshmi Kunnambath

New Delhi: A majority of housewives in Kerala seemed to have ‘no objection’ to domestic violence triggered by their own ‘disobedient’ behaviour.

The most recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) showed that 69 percent of the housewives sampled in the survey approve of domestic violence against women in some form or the other. Around 58 percent men are also found to be backing domestic violence.

When compared to the NFHS-3 result published 10 years back, the number of people who supported domestic violence have increased. In Kerala, 66 percent women and 54 percent men were supportive of domestic violence, according to the previous survey.

The national average of those who supported domestic violence is 52 percent in the new survey falling from the previous one. In the previous survey, 54 percent women and 51 percent men had backed the practice.

The survey was carried out by the International Institute of Population Science-Mumbai among people in the age group of 15 to 49.

Telangana and Manipur are at the forefront in backing domestic violence with an approval rate of 84 percent each. Andhra Pradesh is close behind with 82 percent. The women who supported domestic violence are mostly from rural areas. Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Goa are states with low approval rating for domestic violence.

Women who support domestic violence see the following reasons as ‘acceptable justifications’ for the act by their husbands or partners.

  • Not properly looking after the family and children
  • Disrespecting their in-laws
  • Bad or careless cooking
  • Refusing to have sex
What the figures say

30 percent approve of some kind of physical assault by husband if women leave home without permission

40 percent think man can beat up wife if he is doubtful of the woman's loyalty

30 percent believe husband can assault wife if she argues with him

The survey also found that only 12 percent Kerala women travel alone. Women in Tamil Nadu (54 percent), Telangana (44 percent) and Karnataka (31 percent) are way ahead of Kerala women in choosing to travel alone.

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