Marital Violence, Human development and Women's Property Status in India
Summary: If development means the expansion of human capabilities, then freedom from domestic violence should be an integral part of any exercise for evaluating developmental progress. This paper focuses on a hitherto unexplored factor underlying women’s risk of marital violence, namely, women’s property status. Many studies have examined the scale and correlates of marital violence, but neglected this dimension. Based on a household survey in Kerala (India), the authors assess the prevalence and correlates of both physical and psychological violence—long term and current. Women owning immovable property (land or a house) are found to face a significantly lower risk of marital violence than propertyless women. This has implications for development policy.