A new study published in the journal Population and Development Review suggests that women in India who are better educated and have an higher income than their husbands are more likely to experience domestic violence, or severe intimate partner violence (IPV), compared to unemployed and less educated women than their partners.
Researchers led by Abigail Weitzman from New York University made use of data from the female-only module of India's National Family Health Survey (NFHS) collected in 2005 and 2006 and contained a nationally representative sample of women aged 15-49 and includes nine variables pertaining to IPV.
The researchers found that women who were more educated than their husbands were 1.4 times more likely to experience IPV, 1.54 times the risk of frequent violence and 1.36 times the risk of severe violence while those who were the sole breadwinners of the family experienced 2.44 times the risk of frequent violence and 1.51 times the risk of severe violence.
"In global development efforts, there is a large emphasis on women's employment and education. My research suggests that there can be a backlash, including violence, toward women who attain greater education or earnings than their husbands", Weitzman said.