[…]

File this under blindingly obvious – domestic violence is more prevelant in countries where women are treated as second class citizens under the law.

This study by the US government “reveals” that in countries where women are denied the right to own property, they are more likely to be beaten up by their partner and more likely to have HIV.

Possibly a bit of a waste of tax-payers money to discover something like this, rather than, say, supporting projects that tackle this issue, but I suppose it is worth it if it brings more attention to bear on the subject.

“Property rights are an effective measurement of women’s status in society because they impact women’s economic, political and human rights … [and] shape the allocation of resources and decision-making authority,” said Andrea Bottner, head of the State Department’s Office of International Women’s Issues.

“The right to own property gives women financial independence that, in turn, strengthens their ability to bargain with husbands or other members of the household,” Bottner said.

The International Women’s Issues office works to coordinate U.S. efforts to advance women’s causes around the world and ensure that women’s rights are integrated into all foreign aid programs. It sponsored a December 5 meeting on women’s property and inheritance rights in Asia and Africa and their links to violence against women and HIV/AIDS.

The office emphasizes the need for women to have more access to education, health care and economic opportunities.

“This is important in the fight against HIV/AIDS when women need to assert greater control over access to their bodies. Women who have their own sources of income are more empowered to leave a violent environment,” Bottner said.