Africans endorse wife bashing – report

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

AN Afrobarometer survey has revealed that 25 percent African women believed that being beaten up by their husbands was normal and acceptable.

According to the report, more men find bashing their wives as a disciplinary measure was justified.

The report findings also say that in some countries, up to seven in 10 citizens endorse domestic violence.

While sizeable majority (71%) of Africans say it is never justified for a man to beat his wife, 28% including 24% of women see wife beating as sometimes or always justified.

“Acceptance of violence against women is particularly widespread in Central and West Africa and among respondents with no formal education,” says the report.

“Tolerance for violence against women is far higher in some countries, reaching seven in 10 citizens in Gabon (70%) and Liberia (69%).

“Majorities also see domestic violence as an acceptable practice in Niger (60%), Mali (58%), Guinea (58%), Cameroon (53%), and Burkina Faso (53%).

“In contrast, no more than one in 20 respondents in Cabo Verde, Madagascar, eSwatini, and Malawi are willing to countenance domestic violence.”

The report went on to say that in most countries, women were less likely than men to consider wife-beating justified.

This includes double-digit gaps in 11 countries, led by Senegal and Kenya (16 percentage points each) and Côte d’Ivoire and Togo (14 points each).

“However, in Liberia and Niger, women and men differ little in their high levels of acceptance of violence against women,” it said.

“In Central (46%) and West Africa (40%), acceptance of domestic violence is more than twice as common as in the continent’s North (17%), East (16%), and Southern (14%) regions.

“Citizens with no formal education (41%) are significantly more likely to endorse wife beating than those with primary, secondary, or post-secondary schooling (23%-25%).”