Understanding the factors associated with married women’s attitudes towards wife-beating in sub-Saharan Africa

Betregiorgis ZEGEYE, Comfort Z. OLORUNSAIYE, Bright Opoku AHINKORAH, Edward Kwabena AMEYAW, Eugene BUDU, Abdul Aziz SEIDU, Sanni YAYA*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background

Intimate partner violence remains a major public health problem, especially in countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We examined the factors associated with married women’s attitudes towards wife-beating in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods

We used Demographic and Health Survey data of 28 sub-Saharan African countries that had surveys conducted between 2010 and 2019. A sample of 253,782 married women was considered for the analysis. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were carried out, and the results were presented using crude odds ratio (cOR) and adjusted odds ratio (aOR) at 95% confidence interval.

Results

The pooled result showed about 71.4% of married women in the 28 countries in this study did not justify wife-beating. However, the prevalence of non-justification of wife-beating varied from 83.4% in Malawi to 17.7% in Mali. Women’s age (40–44 years-aOR = 1.61, 95% CI 1.16–2.24), women’s educational level (secondary school-aOR = 1.47, 95% CI 1.13–1.91), husband’s educational level (higher-aOR = 0.55, 95% CI 0.31–0.95), women’s occupation type (professional, technical or managerial-aOR = 1.66, 95% CI 1.06–2.62), wealth index (richest-aOR = 5.52, 95% CI 3.46–8.80) and women’s decision-making power (yes-aOR = 1.39, 95% CI 1.19–1.62) were significantly associated with attitude towards wife-beating.

Conclusion

Overall, less than three-fourth of married women in the 28 sub-Saharan African countries disagreed with wife-beating but marked differences were observed across socio-economic, decision making and women empowerment factors. Enhancing women’s socioeconomic status, decision making power, and creating employment opportunities for women should be considered to increase women’s intolerance of wife-beating  practices, especially among countries with low prevalence rates such as Mali.

Original languageEnglish
Article number242
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Women's Health
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors thank the MEASURE DHS project for their support and for free access to the original data.



© 2022. The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Domestic violence
  • Global health
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Wife-beating
  • Women’s empowerment

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