Violent deaths among women of reproductive age in rural Bangladesh

Soc Sci Med. 2004 Jul;59(2):311-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.01.020.


The objectives of this paper are to investigate levels and trends in mortality due to violence in women of reproductive age and the social and demographic factors associated with such mortality. The study took place in Matlab, a rural sub-district in Bangladesh between 1982 and 1998. The data were furnished by a longitudinal population-based demographic surveillance system located in that area. A case-control design study was used out to identify factors associated with death due to violence, and data from death registration forms were analyzed. The death rate due to violence, defined in terms of suicides and homicides, was higher among women than men. Death rates from violence remained at the same level during the study period while death rates from other causes decreased. Young, not yet married women were a high risk group with respect to death from violence. Oppression, physical and mental abuse by husbands and relatives often preceded suicides and homicides. The disadvantaged position of women in Bangladesh society is the key underlying social cause of the violence that occurred. In order for violence against women to decrease, improvement in the social position of women is essential.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / mortality
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Risk
  • Rural Population
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Women's Health*