Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #570

Rural Electrification and Domestic Violence in Sub–Saharan Africa

by Maximiliane Sievert

RWI, 07/2015, 40 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-656-7 DOI: 10.4419/86788656



One third of all women experience violence within their lifetime, most frequently perpetrated by their intimate partner (IPV). It impacts women’s sexual, reproductive, and mental health, and increases the risk of chronic disease. Ways to reduce IPV are less obvious, though. Especially in rural areas, electrification is frequently said to foster women’s development and contribute to a modernization of gender roles. Using Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from rural areas in 22 Sub-Saharan countries, the present paper analyses the effect of electrification on IPV by means of pseudo-panel and propensity score matching approaches. Women in households with electricity report significantly lower acceptance of IPV. It is especially access and higher exposure to information via TV sets that causes the difference in IPV acceptance. Accordingly, rural electrification might potentially play an important role in eliminating violence against women.

JEL-Classification: J12, J16, O13, O18

Keywords: Rural electrification; domestic violence; intimate partner violence; pseudopanel; propensity score matching