Women’s Status among Households in Southern Ethiopia: Survey of Autonomy and Power

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Abstract

This study examined two key dimensions of women’s status (autonomy and intimate partners violence) in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia based on regional data collected from five randomly selected zones and one city administration; namely, Sidama, Hadya, Gamo Gofa, South Omo, Bench Maji and Hawassa City Administration. The analysis revealed that while joint decision is fairly high, women’s independent decision making on key household domains is generally low. Significant proportions of women in the region are exposed to violence by their partners ranging from insult to heavy physical injury. The fact that nearly half of the women experienced insult and close to a quarter of them faced beating is indicative of the low status of women in society. The regression analysis indicated that seven variables determine the occurrence of violent acts against women in the study area, namely household size, education, access to radio, value of children index, wealth index and level of women autonomy. On the other hand, decision making autonomy is affected by wealth status, household size, access to radio and sex preference index. Finally, the study highlighted the importance of addressing the limited technical and operational capacities to implement gender policy and legal frameworks effectively and efficiently.

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Human and Social Studies

The Journal of "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University from Iasi

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