Structural and relational oppression of women: the association between open defecation and partner violence in Bangladesh

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  • 1 University at Buffalo, USA
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As indicated by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 80 per cent of women in Bangladesh experience partner violence (). Given this prevalence, it is essential to assess factors, transcending the personal, that precipitate such violence. Using the lens of structural violence and supporting studies showing that violence of one form engenders another, we posit that a lack of sanitation that leads to open defecation also contributes to an increased likelihood of partner violence. This study uses data from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2007 to explicate the association between open defecation and partner violence among women in Bangladesh. Results show that in our sample of 4466 women, almost 9 per cent reported open defecation, 18.4 per cent reported physical violence, and 10.2 per cent reported sexual violence. In the multivariate analyses, the adjusted prevalence ratios indicate that open defecation is significantly associated with sexual violence by partners (APR=1.30, p<0.05) but not physical violence. Implications are discussed.

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  • 1 University at Buffalo, USA

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