Online Program

Correlates of tolerant attitudes towards wife beating among young women in western Africa

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Chinelo Okigbo, MBBS, MPH, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: Violence against women is a human right violation and has been associated with poor health outcomes such depression, drug/alcohol abuse, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Recent studies in sub-Saharan Africa show increasing prevalence of such violence especially among young women. In order to reverse this increasing trend, there is a need to identify the vulnerable populations. This study assesses the correlates of tolerant attitudes towards wife beating among young women in four western African countries.

Methods: Data used come from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS4) conducted by UNICEF in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo in 2010/2011. Analytical samples were restricted to women aged 15-24 years and ranged from 2319 in Sierra Leone to 10714 in Nigeria, about a third of all women surveyed. The outcome is a categorical variable recoded from the sum of responses to five questions on attitudes towards wife beating while the exposure variables are sociodemographic and sexual factors. Multinomial logistic regression models were conducted.

Results: A substantial proportion of women aged 15-24 years in Ghana (49%), Nigeria (44%), Sierra Leone (67%), and Togo (43%) reported tolerant attitudes towards wife beating. Country-level differences exist; however, being married and early sexual debut were risk factors while secondary education and wealth were protective factors. Age and residence were not significant correlates of tolerant attitudes towards wife beating.

Conclusion: Educational interventions targeted at at-risk women may contribute to the increased awareness of the health implications of violence against women and may lead to a reduction of its prevalence.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of tolerant attitudes towards violence against women (wife beating) among young women aged 15-24 who live in four western African countries. Discuss the characteristics of those who have tolerant attitudes towards wife beating. Discuss recommendations for increased awareness of the dangers of violence against women and the need for reduction of the tolerant attitudes towards such violence.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and I have been part of several research teams on other similar projects assessing reproductive and sexual health issues among young people in Kenya, Liberia, Senegal, and Nigeria. I am also a licensed physician with the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council. My research interest includes improving access and use of reproductive health services especially among young people and health services integration.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.