Do structural inequalities contribute to marital violence? Ethnographic evidence from rural South India

Violence Against Women. 2005 Jun;11(6):759-75. doi: 10.1177/1077801205276078.


Ethnographic research was conducted in rural communities in Karnataka State, South India, to explore the contexts in which marital violence occurs and the relationships between structural inequalities (gender, caste, and class inequalities) and marital violence. Research highlighted that (a) marital violence is intimately linked to experiences of gender, caste, and class inequalities; (b) women's ability to resist violence hinges on access to economic and social resources; and (c) health care providers need to be actively involved in responding to violence. This study demonstrates the urgent need for violence prevention initiatives, particularly those that address the contribution of structural inequalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Battered Women / psychology
  • Battered Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Narration
  • Primary Prevention / standards
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Class*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Spouses / psychology
  • Spouses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health*