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News 08 Apr 15

Kosovo Women Justify Male Violence, Survey Says

A survey by UNICEF shows about a third of women in Kosovo say their spouse would have a right to beat them if they burned his meal, refused to have sex, or left the home without permission.

BIRN
Pristina

A survey conducted by the Kosovo Statistics Agency ASK and UNICEF suggests that almost half the women in Kosovo were willing to justify male violence towards women - sometimes for such trivial reasons as the wife burning her husband's dinner.

Just over 42 percent of Kosovo women, questioned about whether they would justify violence directed at them in certain situations, said "Yes".

Compared to other countries in the region, the survey suggests women in Kosovo have a very high tolerance of male physical violence compared to neighbouring societies such as Montenegro and Serbia.

The data was drawn from findings of Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, MICS, carried out by UNICEF in Kosovo during the 2013-2014 period.

Igballe Rogova, director of the Kosovo Women’s Network, KWN, said that the problem was not only the attitude of men, but the low awareness of women.

“We often hear statements such as: ‘She deserved to get a beating from her husband.’ So we’re dealing with a real problem,” Rogova said.

She said surveys also showed that the main reason for the high incidence of domestic violence was the country's difficult social and economic situation. "The first cause of domestic violence is the high unemployment rate," Rogova said.

The surveyed women said they were willing to justify violence for several reasons. About 33 percent of those aged 15 to 49 said a man had a right to beat his wife “when she leaves the home without telling him, neglects the children, if they have a verbal disagreement, if she refuses to have intercourse, or burns the food.”

If other "mistakes" are added to the list, the rate of tolerance of male violence on the part of Kosovo women increases to 42.4 percent, such as situations where “she does not take adequate care of the household and hygiene, does not take adequate care of her husband’s parents and makes decisions for the family without consulting with him.”


 

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