MAJORITY OF married women in Central Visayas make themselves heard in decisions involving their households, finances and health, a government survey showed.

But a separate survey by the same agency showed at least 10.3 percent of married women in the region reported suffering physical violence within the year before the survey was conducted.

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The National Statistics Office (NSO) released highlights of their 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey in time for International Women’s Day, which is today.

The survey involved 928 women, aged 15 to 49, in 2008. It revealed that most married women in the region decided on:

l daily household needs (92 percent);

l visits to her family (73 percent);

l major household purchases (80.6 percent); and

l their own health care (92. 3 percent).

About 52 percent of the respondents preferred to decide with their husbands on how her earnings from work should be used.

At least 62 percent said they decide jointly when it comes to spending the husband’s earnings.

At the time of the survey, 48 percent of married women said they earned less than their husbands did. At least 27 percent said they earned more, while 24 percent said they earned about the same.

But another NSO survey revealed a darker side to some Central Visayas households.

The survey “Violence Against Women in the Philippines” showed 31 percent of women reported having suffered physical, sexual or other forms of violence by their husbands.

At least 10.3 percent said they had experienced physical violence in the 12 months before the survey was taken.

The problem was more pronounced among poor women. Of those in the lowest income bracket, 34 percent reported physical, sexual or other types of violence, compared with 19 percent of those in the highest income group.

About 22 percent said they fought back verbally whenever they were physically abused, while 21 percent said they usually sought help from others. At least 19.4 percent said they fought back physically.