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Domestic violence in Ghana

Domestic violence is prevalent in Ghana,[1] owing in part to a deep cultural belief that it is socially acceptable for men to discipline their wives physically.[2][3][4][5] Around one in three women in Ghana are likely to experience domestic violence.[6]


The problem of domestic violence is more prevalent in rural areas and the northern regions of Ghana.[7][8][9] [10][11] [12][13][14][15][16] According to a 2011 survey by MICS, 60 percent of Ghanaian women believe that husbands are justified in beating their wives, for a variety of reasons. In 2008, 38.7 percent of Ghanaian women between the ages of 15 and 49 who had ever been married had experienced physical, emotional or sexual violence by a husband or partner at some point in their lives.[17][18][19]

Reasons mentioned in the MICS report include: “if she goes out without telling him; if she neglects the children; if she argues with him; if she refuses sex with him; if she burns the food; if she insults him; if she refuses to give him food; if she has another partner; if she steals; or if she gossips.”[20][21] Ghanaian women who are poorly educated and from poor socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to believe domestic violence is justified.[22]

Cultural backdrop

One of the main reasons for the high incidence is Women in Ghana live in a highly patriarchal society where the man/father is the head of the household and takes all major household decisions.[23] Also many spouses are reluctant to report to police and would rather consult their local spiritual leader. It also seen a more a private matter than legal matter.[24]

Efforts to counter domestic violence

In 2007 the Ghanaian government created the Domestic Violence Act in an attempt to reduce violence against women.[25] The act encountered significant resistance from cultural conservatives and local religious leaders who believed that such a law would undermine traditional African values, and that Western values were being implemented into law.[26][27][28]

In 2014 the Ghanaian government set up a domestic violence board to combat the issue.[29][30][31]

See also


  1. ^ "Domestic Violence in Ghana" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  2. ^ Nancy Chi Cantalupo. "Domestic Violence in Ghana: The Open Secret" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  3. ^ "Spousal murders in Ghana worrying". Graphic. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  4. ^ "In Ghana, changing the belief in violent discipline". UNICEF. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Domestic violence on ascendancy - Today Newspaper". 30 August 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Violence Against Women in Ghana". GBC. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ "Factors Influencing Domestic and Marital Violence Against Women in Ghana" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  8. ^ "Effects of violence against women in Ghana". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  9. ^ (, Deutsche Welle. "Domestic violence rife in rural Ghana - Africa - DW.COM - 16.06.2016". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Domestic violence in Ghana is at epidemic levels". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  11. ^ Abbey, Emelia Ennin. "17,655 Domestic violence cases reported to DOVVSU in 2014 - Graphic Online". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  12. ^ Owusu Adjah, Ebenezer S.; Agbemafle, Isaac (1 January 2016). "Determinants of domestic violence against women in Ghana". BMC Public Health. 16: 368. doi:10.1186/s12889-016-3041-x. PMC 4852424. PMID 27139013.
  13. ^ "Launch of domestic violence research report in Ghana - Speeches". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  14. ^ "Facts on Violence Against Women in Ghana (Part 1 of 2)". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Facts on Violence Against Women in Ghana (Part 2 of 2)". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Male Partner Violence against Women in Northern Ghana: Its Dimensions and Health Policy Implications" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  17. ^ Justino, Patricia. "Domestic Violence in Ghana: Prevalence, Incidence and Causes". Institution of Development Studies. Institution of Development Studies. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  18. ^ "Study suggests women supports wife beatings". GBC. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2017.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  19. ^ Peterson, Diana Scharff; Schroeder, Julie A. (19 December 2016). Domestic Violence in International Context. Routledge. ISBN 9781317209911. Retrieved 28 February 2017 – via Google Books.
  20. ^ "60% Of Women Justify Wife-Beating—Survey Reveals". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  21. ^ "60% of women justify wife-beating - Survey". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  22. ^ "Ghana" (PDF). Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey with and Enhanced Malaria Module and Biomarker. 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Domestics Violence in Ghana: Socially Accepted and Judicially Trivialized - The Generation". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Counting the Costs of Violence Against Women and Girls In Ghana" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  25. ^ "GHA103468.E" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  26. ^ "Domestic Violence Bill Passed At Last". Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  27. ^ "Microsoft Word - Domestic Violence Act 732" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  28. ^ "Lessons from Ghana:The Challenges of a Legal Response to Domestic Violence in Africa" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-26. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  29. ^ "Domestic Violence Board Set Up". The Ghanaian Times. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  30. ^ Name * (2016-08-18). "Research Report on Domestic Violence Launched". Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  31. ^ Jotie, Sule. "Ghana Domestic Violence Research Report Launched in Accra". Government of Ghana. Retrieved 28 February 2017.