50% women in Kerala justify men beating wives: National Family Health Survey

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Even as Kerala has seen a rise in domestic violence-related suicides in recent months, 52 percent of its women justify men beating their wives, a National Family Health Survey (NFHS) points out.

Over 30 percent of women from 14 of the 18 states and Union Territories that participated in the fifth edition of NFHS, justified men beating their wives under certain circumstances, while a lesser number of men rationalised such behaviour.

The survey put forward the probable circumstances under which a husband beats his wife: if he suspects her of being unfaithful; if she disrespects in-laws; if she argues with him; if she refuses to have sex with him; if she goes out without informing him; if she neglects the house or the children; if she doesn't cook good food.

The most common reasons given by the respondents to justify beating were neglecting the house or children and showing disrespect to in-laws.

Women respondents from Kerala and 12 other states cited this reason to justify domestic violence.

However, Kerala is not the worst in this regard as in at least three other states, over 75 percent of women justified men beating their wives. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh topped the list with 84% each followed by Karnataka, 77%.

Manipur, 66%, Jammu and Kashmir, 49%, Maharashtra, 44%, and West Bengal, 42% were the other participating states where a large number of women justified the beating.

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