Rural village in Bangladesh

SEK 3 150 000 to Linnaeus University’s project against domestic violence in Bangladesh

The Swedish Research Council has granted Linnaeus University SEK 3 150 000 for an international postdoc. The project will assess the effectiveness of a community-based intervention for the prevention of widespread domestic violence against women among three ethnic communities in rural Bangladesh.

In Bangladesh 70% of married women experience physical or sexual violence from the husband. 7 out of 10 women also believe that the husband under certain circumstances have got the right to beat their wives, for example if she doesn’t obey him. At the same time a former study has shown that women’s awareness, level of education and marital gender equality can protect against domestic violence.

– Domestic violence prevention is under-prioritized in Bangladesh. Post domestic violence supports are also confined to a few urban areas targeting the mainstream population, though there are also many ethnic minorities. This study will examine the efficiency of a community-based domestic violence prevention intervention among mainstream Bengali as well as ethnic minority Garo and Santal communities in the rural area, says Rabiul Karin, Postdoc at Linnaeus University and faculty member at University of Rajshahi.

Standards and women’s position differ between these groups and the study will be conducted in 24 communities – eight from each group. In the beginning of 2019, a survey will be conducted to examine the extent of different types of violence, attitudes towards violence, women’s rights, awareness of laws and support groups. After the survey, an intervention will follow with purpose to raise awareness among men and competence development among women.

Rabiul Karim will carry out the project in the villages in collaboration with the domestic violence prevention research team at the Department of Social Work, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. The project will also be conducted in collaboration with local organizations and by involving local leaders such as teachers and local councils.

The project Community-based prevention of domestic violence against women: a cross-cultural study among Bengali, Garo, and Santal ethnic communities in rural Bangladesh will receive SEK 1 050 000 per year for three years starting January 2019 and concluding December 2021. The results will increase knowledge of how domestic violence can be prevented in lower- or middle-income countries. The research can contribute to capacity building locally and increased gender equality and increased effectiveness of support efforts nationally.