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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Iowa: Developing Gender-based Violence Interventions in India

Globally, the highest rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) are reported in Southeast Asia. In India, IPV is intensifying in peri-urban areas where over half of the population lives, exacerbated by growing income inequalities and rapid social change. Given that an average of 35 percent of ever-married women in India have experienced IPV and its many public health sequelae, it is critical to understand the attitudes held by boys, girls, men, and women that may contribute to IPV.

Dr. William Story and a team of researchers from the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa have received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to generate evidence about IPV and develop male-focused strategies to reduce IPV in India’s peri- urban settings. The Iowa team will be collaborating on this project with the Saint John’s Medical College Department of Community Health in Bangalore, India.

The collaboration will address the urgent need to work with early adolescent boys and their male role models to reshape ideologies about gender roles and masculinity. Focusing on two peri-urban catchment areas in southeast Bangalore district, the two-year, mixed-method project will assess attitudes and behaviors related to gender roles, masculinity, social capital, and violence against women among couples; explore the attitudes of boys, girls, men, and women related to gender norms; and build the institutional capacity of Saint John’s Medical College to address violence against women in their research and medical training.

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