Accepted Paper:

The practice of wife battering in an urban slum: a study at Berhampur in Odisha, India  


Itishree Padhi ( BJB Autonomous College, Bhubaneswar)
Prasanta Acharya (Naba Krushna Centre for Development Studies, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar)

Paper short abstract:

This paper tries to find out the major contributing factors of wife battering in an urban slum of Berhampur, India. Purely based on empirical data it tries to throw light on the attitude of both men and women towards wife beating and puts insights in raising awareness among them.

Paper long abstract:

Women though allowed to earn are incapacitated by lack of control over their own resources and earnings and suffer discrimination and violence. Thus, the changes are more superficial than penetrating. As far as our country India in concerned, family values still dominate and gender discrimination and family violence are kept as closely guarded secrets. Literature suggests that 75% rural women are regularly being beaten up by their husbands. UNICEF Global Report Card-2012 says in India 57% adolescent boys think that it is not a big thing to beat his wife and it is justified. Surprisingly 53% girls also support wife beating. Coming to Odisha, the scenario is no different. As far as urban Odisha is concerned where a number of slums have been mushroomed in last few years, the practice of wife beating is rampant. Thus, the problem of wife beating becomes more significant when a husband who is supposed to protect his wife starts beating her. The present paper purely based on empirical study takes opinions of both the victims and their husbands who are the perpetrators towards wife beating, its major contributing factors and norms to intervene strategy to raise awareness among both husband and wife in combating the problem.

The study has been conducted in a dalit slum of Berhampur, the largest city of southern Odisha. Interview schedule and focused discussions are the major tools of data collection. Few intensive case studies have also been incorporated to make the study more comprehensive.

Panel P045
Gender inequality: victimization of women in global context in tradition and modernity