|TIAB (Title and Abstract)|
Men's perspectives on women's empowerment and intimate partner violence in rural Bangladesh.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) may increase as women in patriarchal societies become empowered, implicitly or explicitly challenging prevailing gender norms. Prior evidence suggests an inverse U-shaped relationship between women's empowerment and IPV, in which violence against women first increases and then decreases as more egalitarian gender norms gradually gain acceptance. By means of focus-group discussions and in-depth interviews with men in 10 Bangladeshi villages, this study explored men's evolving views of women, gender norms and the legitimacy of men's perpetration of IPV in the context of a gender transition. It examines men's often-contradictory narratives about women's empowerment and concomitant changes in norms of masculinity, and identifies aspects of women's empowerment that are most likely to provoke a male backlash. Findings suggest that men's growing acceptance of egalitarian gender norms and their self-reported decreased engagement in IPV are driven largely by pragmatic self-interest: their desire to improve their economic status and fear of negative consequences of IPV.
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