Spousal Violence and its Implications on Women’s General and Reproductive Health in Pakistan
Rubeena Ashraf Zakar, Universität Bielefeld
6. November 2009
This research focused on the general and reproductive health consequences of spousal violence against women in Pakistan. The study collected and assembled evidence to demonstrate that violence deeply and intricately damages women’s health in myriad ways. Hence, it is an important and legitimate domain of public health investigation. The study collected both quantitative and qualitative data from two cities of Pakistan: Lahore and Sialkot. A cross sectional survey was conducted from 373 randomly selected ever married women of reproductive age from the randomly selected hospitals of the study areas. Qualitative data were collected through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews from wives, husbands, and different stake holders. The study found that acts of violence rendered substantial and direct damage to the physical and reproductive health of the victims. Additionally, it was noted that the victims of actual and symbolic violence lived under the climate of fear; where they were deprived of the many basic health rights; like reproductive freedom and ability to utilize available health care services. The denial of such rights potentially eroded women's capabilities to resist violence and further made them vulnerable to the violence-related aliments. The study concluded that reported violence was just a tip of "iceberg"; the actual damage done to health of women was much greater and far severer.