Women’s education reduces risk of Gender-Based Violence: evidence from 29 countries

John Gordon Simister


Many researchers have found that a woman is less likely to be a victim of domestic violence if she is more educated. But some studies found that a few years in school had little or no effect on a woman’s risk of being hit by her husband. This paper studies domestic violence against women in 29 countries, using ‘Demographic and Health Survey’ household data, and data from ‘Work, Attitudes & Spending’ surveys in Nigeria. In most countries studied in this paper, there is clear evidence that education reduces the risk of violence; but education appears to have much less effect on risk of violence in three countries (Cameroon, Liberia, and Nigeria). Nigeria is used as a case study, to examine these issues in depth. This paper finds evidence that the apparent lack of effect of education is an artefact of the data, which can be explained by studying different ethnic groups separately. It is not obvious why these ethnic groups differ; but female seclusion and nomadic cattle farming may explain much of the apparent difference in GBV prevalence rates between ethnic groups.


violence against women; education; ethnicity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4471/generos.2013.24

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Géneros - Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies | ISSN: 2014-3613

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