JSI RESOURCES: Journal article

Explaining trends and patterns in attitudes towards wife-beating among women in Nigeria: analysis of 2003, 2008, and 2013 Demographic and Health Survey data


This paper examines the patterns and trends in attitudes towards wife-beating among women in Nigeria and their determinants. Using the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey datasets, the authors examined the relationships between sociocultural factors and a woman’s attitude towards being beaten by her spouse.

The results indicate a significant change over time in the percentage of Nigerian women who support or accept the notion that a man is justified in beating or hitting his wife. The findings show that during interviews in 2003, 2008, and 2013, 62.4%, 45.7%, and 37.1% of women, respectively, believed that wife-beating was justified for at least one of the reasons given. Education, place of residence, wealth index, ethnic affiliation, religious affiliation, women’s autonomy in household decision-making, and frequency of listening to the radio were significantly related to acceptance of wife-beating over the years. The study underscores the importance of these factors to the development of policies addressing gender-based violence and urges special attention and intervention to mitigate the effect of the cultural practices that underlie domestic violence against women in Nigeria.

Author: Kolawole Azeez Oyediran

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