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Development and Validation of the LoVI: The Laws on Violence Against Women and Girls Index

25 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2018

See all articles by Kathryn Yount

Kathryn Yount

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health ; Emory University - Rollins School of Public Health; Emory University - Department of Sociology

Patricia Lewis

Emory University - Department of Sociology

Cari Jo Clark

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health

Lori Heise

Johns Hopkins University - Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health

Ruchira T. Naved

International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research

Lauren Maxwell

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health

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Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

Background:  Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a human-rights violation with adverse long-term and inter-generational consequences. Redefining VAWG as legally unacceptable is one strategy for social change. The co-occurrence of national laws against VAWG is understudied, and tools to monitor the national legal environment are lacking. We developed the Laws on Violence against Women and Girls Index (LoVI) to measure comprehensive legislation against child marriage, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and marital rape. 'Comprehensive' required the presence of legislation with definitions for each type of VAWG.    

Methods: Using data from 2016 and 2018 for 189 countries in the World Bank Women, Business, and the Law database, we performed exploratory and then confirmatory factor analyses to assess the LoVI as a unidimensional construct. We examined the distribution of the LoVI across countries, regions, and income levels and the relationship of national rankings on the LoVI with those for other indicators.    

Findings: A single LoVI factor showed good model fit (CFA: loadings 0·39-0·79, RMSEA=0·01, CFI=1·00, TLI=1·00). On national rankings, the LoVI was positively associated with indicators for gender equality in human development and economic rights, and negatively associated with rates of justifying wife beating and of lifetime and prior-year IPV (especially among lower and higher ranking countries). The LoVI was not associated with national indicators of human development and income inequality.

Interpretation: The LoVI is a concise, coherent, validated index to monitor the progress of nations on adopting comprehensive legislation to advance 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 5, to eliminate VAWG.

Funding Statement: This article is an output of research grant 005-2-RREF1 (PI Kathryn Yount) of the GAGE programme, which is funded by UK Aid from the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethics Approval Statement: Missing

Suggested Citation

Yount, Kathryn and Lewis, Patricia and Clark, Cari Jo and Heise, Lori and Naved, Ruchira T. and Maxwell, Lauren, Development and Validation of the LoVI: The Laws on Violence Against Women and Girls Index (August 29, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3244926 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3244926

Kathryn Yount (Contact Author)

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health ( email )

United States

Emory University - Rollins School of Public Health ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Emory University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Patricia Lewis

Emory University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Cari Jo Clark

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health ( email )

United States

Lori Heise

Johns Hopkins University - Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health ( email )

United States

Ruchira T. Naved

International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research

Bangladesh

Lauren Maxwell

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health

United States

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