A relational perspective on women’s empowerment: Intimate partner violence and empowerment among women entrepreneurs in Vietnam

Marloes Anne Huis*, Nina Hansen, Robert Lensink, Sabine Otten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research has mainly studied women’s empowerment assessing personal (e.g., self-esteem) or relational (e.g., decision-making) empowerment indicators. Women are not isolated individuals; they are embedded in social relationships. This is especially relevant in more collectivist societies. The current research provides a relational perspective on how husbands may hamper women’s empowerment by inflicting intimate partner violence (IPV) assessing women’s self-reported experience. We tested the link between self-esteem and experienced IPV on financial intra-household decision-making power among women entrepreneurs (N = 1,347) in Northern Vietnam, a collectivistic society undergoing economic development. We report two measurement points. As expected, self-esteem (and not IPV) was positively related to more power in intra-household decision-making on small expenditures, which are traditionally taken by women. However, IPV (and not self-esteem) was related to less decision-making power on larger expenditures, traditionally a domain outside women’s power. We test and discuss the directionality of the effects and stress the importance of considering women’s close relationship when investigating signs of women’s empowerment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12348
Pages (from-to)365-386
JournalBritish journal of social psychology
Volume59
Issue number2
Early online date30 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • empowerment
  • financial intra-household decision-making
  • gender inequity
  • intimate partner violence
  • self-esteem
  • women

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