Men’s perspectives on women’s empowerment and intimate partner violence in rural Bangladesh
Publisher© 2017 Routledge
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CitationSchuler, S. R., Lenzi, R., Badal, S. H., & Nazneen, S. (2017). Men’s perspectives on women’s empowerment and intimate partner violence in rural bangladesh. Culture, Health and Sexuality, , 1-15. 10.1080/13691058.2017.1332391
Intimate partner violence (IPV) may increase as women in patriarchal societies become empowered, implicitly or explicitly challenging prevailing gender norms. Prior evidence suggests an inverse U-shaped relationship between women’s empowerment and IPV, in which violence against women first increases and then decreases as more egalitarian gender norms gradually gain acceptance. By means of focus-group discussions and in-depth interviews with men in 10 Bangladeshi villages, this study explored men’s evolving views of women, gender norms and the legitimacy of men’s perpetration of IPV in the context of a gender transition. It examines men’s often-contradictory narratives about women’s empowerment and concomitant changes in norms of masculinity, and identifies aspects of women’s empowerment that are most likely to provoke a male backlash. Findings suggest that men’s growing acceptance of egalitarian gender norms and their self-reported decreased engagement in IPV are driven largely by pragmatic self-interest: their desire to improve their economic status and fear of negative consequences of IPV.