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SPECIAL REPORT: Burning Food, Arguing, Main Reasons Why Husbands Beat Their Wives


Burning food and arguing with their husbands were topmost among things listed as main reasons why husbands beat their wives in Nigeria, a report from StatiSense with data captured from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2018 report has revealed.

Other reasons listed as excuses given by wife beaters include “going out without telling their husbands, neglecting the welfare of the children, and refusing to have sexual intercourse with their husbands.”

StatiSense, a data analytics company, noted that these five reasons were common among excuses given by husbands who beat their wives.

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A further breakdown of the report showed that the majority of these women and men who would support beating in their homes, especially from the angle of the husbands, for those five listed reasons, come from the North-East region of the country.

The report showed that 40.98 percent of adults in the North East geopolitical zone agreed to beating in their marriages. In the 40.98 percent reported for this region, 23.17 percent are women who support beatings from their husbands for the five reasons above.

According to the data, this group see beating as an appropriate tool to correct bad behaviour in their marriages, while 17.8 percent of men from the 40.98 percent of the region agreed that beating their wives for the above five reasons should be used as a more effective weapon to correct ill behaviour.

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The North East states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe.

Closely following the North East geopolitical zone was the North West geopolitical zone, with states such as Kaduna, Kano, Zamfara, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, and Sokoto. The North-West geopolitical zone recorded 35.8 percent of men and women saying that physical abuse based on the above listed grounds was justifiable.

The North Central geopolitical zone ranked third in the report. Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, and Plateau States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, had 16.5 percent of respondents in the survey agreeing that husbands beating their wives is a way to correct misdemeanours in marriage, specifically on the five grounds provided earlier.

The South West geopolitical zone came last in this survey. Comprising Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, and Oyo the region has only 4.2 percent of respondents agreeing to husbands beating their wives for the earlier five reasons.

Of the 4.2 percent, 2.2 percent of them women agreed to their husbands beating them, while only 2 percent of the men supported beating as a way to correct misdemeanour in their marriages.

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However, the South-South and South-East geopolitical regions came in fourth and fifth in the survey conducted by the NDHS. The South-South had 6.8 percent of men and women in support of husbands beating their wives, while 8.7 percent of people in the South East are in agreement that husbands should beat their wives on the grounds of any of the five reasons listed.

A further query of the data provided by StatiSense showed that of the 6.8 percent, men and women in the South-South region were in equal numbers, while surprisingly, women trumped men by 5.9 percent to 2.8 percent in the South-East.

A general overview of the report from the research company indicates that of the respondents aged between 14 and 49 years, 19.6 percent of women agreed to their husbands beating on the grounds of argument.

21.4 percent of women agreed on the grounds of neglecting the children and going out without telling him.

While 20.1 percent of women agreed that husbands can beat their wives if they are denied sex, 14.5 percent accepted beatings from husbands on the grounds of burning their food.

Apparently, men were less supportive of husbands beating their wives, as captured by the report.

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12.5 percent of men agreed that their wives should be beaten if she argues with him; 11.6 percent of men agreed that their wives should be beaten if she “goes out with telling him” and “neglects the children”.

Only 11.1 percent of men agreed that beating their wives on the grounds of depriving their husband of sex is justified, while only 7.3 percent supported beating as a means to reprimand misdemeanour in marriage if the wife burns the food.


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