Politics of Gender

The Correlations between Microfinance Participation and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in Rural Bangladesh: Economic Disempowerment and Deteriorating Social Health in Rural Women

Muhammad Hassan Bin Afzal Kent State University
The aim of this study is to examine and understand the multifaceted relationship between participation in rural microfinance programs and intimate partner violence (IPV) for Bangladeshi women. The stern negative socioeconomic impacts of IPV on Bangladeshi rural women have been recognized and addressed in a growing number of case studies and analyses. This study finds that membership in microfinance loan programs in rural areas results in reduced IPV in the household. Furthermore, when the husband/partner is more educated and the wife has more decision-making ability in the household and used birth control last year, the IPV instances reduced significantly in that household. This study uses the 2014 Bangladeshi Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) implemented by the National Institute for Population Research and Training (NIPORT). We find that membership in microfinance loan programs and husbands’ level of education and birth control usage associates with reduced IPV in the household.