A recent report showed that 34% of women in the country have experienced physical violence since they turned 15 years old. That number pales in comparison to the male at 27%, still a high number.
More often than not, women are more vulnerable as far as physical violence is concerned hence the many campaigns to end gender-based violence (GBV). Despite this, we are yet to get to the other side with the situation worryingly escalating.
This government survey further showed that women in the Western part of the country were the biggest sufferers of GBV. One of the contributing factors to this is a lack of education. However, the report did not establish the relationship between the level of education and intimate partner violence.
Lack of Education & Partner Violence
Data collected from around the world shows a positive relationship between a woman’s level of education and spousal violence. Firstly, a highly educated woman is likely to be picky when choosing a partner.
As such, she is keen on details and is likely to filter out the bad apples. This is not to say that educated women do not experience abuse, they do, but the chances of intimate partner violence reduce.
Another thing is that the gap between an educated woman and her spouse is reduced and thus has the capacity to engage at the same level as the man which helps defend her position. Again, it’s not to say that these women don’t endure partner violence but its odds reduce significantly.
The other reason for this is the fact that some of these women are financially dependent on their men. Thus, regardless of how ugly the situation is, they return back to them. It is one of the reasons why women now are encouraged to build their financial muscle before they get into a relationship.
Again, keep in mind that the situation varies from one
Some women argue that when their partners hit them it’s a demonstration of their love. We are in the 21st century but this archaic and whopped perspective refuses to vanish. Women with this view need help more than anything. It shows a lack of self-worth. Hence, they look for validation in the wrong places.
What Can Society Do To Correct This
First and foremost, girls should avoid getting married at a very young age. Getting married right after high school does not allow them to build their mental, financial, emotional and social capital as they get bogged down with family responsibilities.
We often concentrate on child marriages and rightfully so but we also need to highlight marriages between young adults and older people. Why is an 18 or 19-year-old foregoing their future to get married?
You are not an equal partner and the lack of self-sufficiency will prevent you from moving on when the man is abusive. You are completely dependent on him and will literally be living at his mercy.
Instead, focus on your education and building your life. It becomes much easier to negotiate when you can bring something to the table and have the option to walk away.
No, it’s not victim-blaming. We want you to make the best decisions for yourself.
The other part of this is the lack of accountability. This is a big problem as these men usually go unpunished. Our society accepts tradeoffs – a number of goats or cows – in exchange for a girl’s future.
Those in authority also don’t act on such cases. A lot of victims report a lack of action which has led others to sit on the matter. There’s a need to create a space for people to report their cases and get heard.
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