Violence Against Women and Household Ownership of Radios, Computers, and Phones in 20 Countries

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine the relationship between household ownership of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and justifications for wife beating.

Methods

Women aged 15 to 49 years in 20 countries were surveyed via UNICEF's Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys between 2006 and 2014. Multivariate logistic regressions accounted for individual-, household-, and structural-level variables.

Results

Household ownership of any ICT (radio, computer, fixed phone, or mobile phone but not television) was associated with increased odds of women rejecting wife beating. The largest association was with computer ownership: women in homes with a computer were more likely to reject wife beating (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.81; 97.5% confidence interval [CI] = 1.69, 1.93). Number of ICTs was important: women in households with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 ICTs (vs 0) were more likely to reject wife-beating justifications (AOR = 1.10 [97.5% CI = 1.03, 1.17]; AOR = 1.10 [97.5% CI = 1.03, 1.18]; AOR = 1.19 [97.5% CI = 1.11, 1.29]; AOR = 1.71 [97.5% CI = 1.54, 1.88]; and AOR = 2.85 [97.5% CI = 2.48, 3.26]; respectively).

Conclusions

Independent of household wealth, country development, and other sociodemographic factors, the more ICTs in a household, the more likely that women will reject wife-beating justifications. Policymakers and program planners should consider potential implications of ICT access relating to intimate partner violence.

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