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Marriage laws and violence against women

Arlette Gautier, Université de Provence

Marriage laws are ignored by demographers, who prefer to use socio-economic data. However, they are some of the most important social institutions governing family relationships. They often stipulate if the wife must obey the husband or if he is considered the head of the family or if equality must be respected. They also say if the wife can administer her property or that of the family, etc.. Ten dispositions were quantified in 1938, for 61 independent countries, mainly European and American, and for 192 in 2003 to construct an indicator of marriage law. It has been compared with the level of domestic violence in the lst twelve months and in the relation: It appears clearly than the level of violence vary according to the marriage law index and particularly to the finest one.

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Presented in Session 153: Gender