Gender-based violence and empowerment indicators in Bihar: Scope for evidence-based research and policy

Project Active from to State and State Effectiveness

Gender-based violence has emerged as a global problem with wide-ranging impacts on women’s health and empowerment. The primary aim of this multi-method research is to study the feasibility of a multi-sectoral model based on a public health approach in Bihar for addressing gender-based violence.

Bihar is recognised as a high-prevalence state for gender-based violence. It is estimated that approximately 59 percent of women in Bihar have suffered from domestic violence (Chaudhary, 2013; Bajwa 2019). The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women (2005) highlighted the potential of public health approaches to GBV.

However, currently few doctors, nurses or other health professionals have the awareness and training to identify violence as an underlying cause of women’s health problems. Nor do they possess the skills to provide women with assistance in accessing relevant services in the absence of care and protection services (Garcia-Moreno 2005).

This research uses a mixed-methods approach to consider measures of gender-based violence. The first part of the study entails quantitative analysis of Demographic Health Surveys (NFHS IV). This will be supplemented with data available from the National Crimes Records Bureau, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Home Affairs and geospatial mapping of the prevalence and incidence of gender-based violence in districts across Bihar. In the second part, a field-based pre and post-Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) intervention survey will be conducted amongst health care providers in two tertiary hospitals in high-prevalence districts in Bihar. The intervention the researchers will introduce is the Identification and Referral Model (IRIS) which has been applied in the National Health Service (UK) to sensitise the health care providers to domestic violence.