Attitudes Of Women Towards Domestic Violence In Guyana: Analyses Of A Nationally Representative Survey

Objective: To assess the attitude of women towards justifying domestic violence in Guyana. Methods: We used data from the publicly available Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted in Guyana in 2019. This survey uses a standardized questionnaire to collect data on sociodemographic, geographic and attitudinal indicators for a national random sample of women aged 15 to 49 years old across Guyana. The prevalence of women who agreed that a husband is justified in beating his wife was the main outcome we analyzed. Respondent reasons included if she: “goes out without telling him”, “neglects the children”, “argues with him”, “refuses sex with him”, “burns the food”, “has another partner”, “stays out late/partying”, “refuses to cook or clean”, “overspends”, and/or “he doesn’t have access to her cellphone”. We assessed women’s attitude towards DV for any of these 10 respondent reasons. Descriptive analyses were carried out for all the variables. Multivariate logistic regression and backward stepwise variable selection were used to identify factors associated with the outcomes.
Results: The prevalence of women’s attitude towards DV if there was a ‘yes’ response to any of the 10 reasons was 17.9% (95%CI: 16.6-19.3%) and varied from 2.7% if she “goes out without telling him”, “burns the food”, or “overspends” to 10.0% if she “has another partner”. This prevalence ranged from 10.2% in the urban area to 19.3% in the rural area, and from 16.1% in the Coastal to 30.1% in the Interior (p<0.001). About 40% of women in region 1 agreed that a husband is justified in beating his wife for any of the 10 reasons compared to 9.3% in region 10 (p<0.001). Similarly, 25.9% of the poorest women agreed with such attitudes compared to 11.6% of the richest women (11.6%) (p<0.001). Rural place of residence, ethnicity, geographic region, level of education, wealth quintile, use of a computer, and frequency of listening to radio were key factors associated with women's attitudes towards