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PA 19-2-0610 Does employment in the formal sector protect women from intimate partner violence in the context of patriarchy? the case of garment workers in bangladesh
  1. Ruchira Tabassum Naved1,
  2. Mahfuz Al Mamun1,
  3. Kausar Parvin1,
  4. Samantha Willan2,
  5. Andy Gibbs3,
  6. Marat Yu4,
  7. Rachel Jewkes5
  1. 1Health Systems and Populations Studies Division, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  2. 2Prevent Violence Against Women: Gender and Health Division, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
  3. 3Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  4. 4BSR, Hong Kong
  5. 5Global Programme, South African Medical Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa


This paper assessed the magnitude of different types of intimate partner violence (IPV) and identified the correlates of IPV using cross-sectional survey data collected during September-December, 2016 from 800 female garment workers randomly selected from lists provided by eight garment factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The results reveal high levels of IPV experienced by the workers (physical=34%; sexual=43%; economic=35%, last 12 months). Logistic regression analyses show while 6 years or higher education reduced the likelihood of IPV, young age, having two or more children and education equal to or more than husband increased its likelihood. Financial factors such as ownership of savings and jewellery/household assets increased IPV likelihood, while ability of the worker to mobile resources in crisis reduced it. Middle income group also protected against economic IPV, while household food insecurity increased IPV likelihood. High acceptance of IPV and experience of non-partner sexual violence of the worker increased likelihood of IPV. Having a highly or moderately highly controlling husband predicted different types of IPV. Husband’s substance abuse and extramarital sex also predicted IPV. Work at a factory in the Export Processing Zone protected against IPV.

The findings indicate that financial empowerment alone is not sufficient to protect workers from IPV. They support interventions that combine gender empowerment training for workers in the context of better factory working conditions. They also suggest that interventions would be more effective if working with men is included as a programme component.

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