Socioeconomic and Demographic Factors Influencing Women's Attitude Toward Wife Beating in Ethiopia

Alemu A Mengistu
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2019 April 15, : 886260519842179
This study used data from the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) for a total of 42,054 women (15-49 years) from Ethiopia's 11 geographic/administrative regions using a stratified, two-stage cluster sample design to reflect the country's huge geographical, cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. The study first identified the major socioeconomic and demographic factors influencing women's attitude toward wife beating in Ethiopia, and then provided some suggestions on what types of interventions are required to address the problems. Toward this effect, female participants were asked whether a husband is justified in beating his wife under five possible circumstances. Ironically, the majority of women support wife beating if a wife goes out without telling a husband (51.8%), neglects her children (58.1%), argues with a husband (53.4%), refuses to have sex with a husband (47.9%), and burns food while preparing meals (53.3%). The study also used the probit regression model and identified the following factors influencing women's attitude toward wife beating in Ethiopia: women's economic status, women's level of education, husband's level of education, access to media, marital status, place of residence (urban vs. rural), and women's awareness about the law against wife beating. The way forward will require the empowerment of women through education and training, an increase in women's access to resources, strong legislation against domestic violence, and creating awareness among community and religious leaders. As the best way to end intimate partner violence against women is to prevent it from happening in the first place by addressing its main causes, this study is thus of paramount importance for the overall efforts in raising awareness to prevent such violence against women.

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