World Fit For Children Goal: Protect children from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence
In the context of gender inequality, women’s response to abuse reflects their relatively fewer options to change or leave the relationship and their assessment of how best to protect themselves and their children. When asked their opinion, on average, half of girls and women aged 15–49 responded that a husband or partner is justified in beating his wife under certain circumstances.
Less educated women in particular are more likely to feel that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife, as well as women from rural areas and of the poorest quintile.
Ending domestic violence requires changing the attitudes that permit such abuse, developing legal and policy frameworks to prohibit and reject it, and improving women’s access to economic resources and girls’ access to education.
Source: UNICEF global databases, 2008, based on estimates from MICS, DHS and other national surveys in 67 countries for 1999–2007. In Egypt, Jordan, Somalia and Turkmenistan, only women who are or were ever married were surveyed; in Tajikistan, only women who are married or in union were surveyed. Breakdown by reason and age group is based on survey data in 57 and 55 countries respectively. Women’s response to abuse: WHO, World Report on Violence and Health, 2002.