Effect of Education on Women’s Experience of Intimate Partner Violence: Universal Primary Education as a Natural Experiment in Malawi and Uganda

Amber Peterman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Julia Behrman, New York University (NYU)
Tia Palermo, Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)

Although education is often found to be protective against intimate partner violence, there are few studies which are able to identify a casual relationship. We use the implementation of Universal Primary Education policies in Uganda and Malawi in the mid-nineties as natural experiments to identify casual impacts of schooling on physical and sexual intimate partner violence among women ages 22 to 29 in Malawi and Uganda using population based data from the Demographic and Health Surveys. Results suggest that education has an overall protective effect on experiencing partner violence. However, this overall result masks the heterogeneous impacts, where women at the lower end of the schooling distribution are negatively impacted. This is the first study to our knowledge to examine causal impacts of education on violence, and these results have the potential to contribute to the evidence base on the effectiveness of human capital investments for primary prevention of victimization.

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Presented in Session 98: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health: Policy and Intervention