33.7% of Nigerian women believe that a man is justified in beating his wife for at least one of the following five reasons:
- She goes out without telling him;
- She neglects the kids;
- She argues with him;
- She refuses sex with him; or
- She burns the food.
The alarming result was one of the findings in a newly released Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Among men, the percentage of those who believe a man is justified in beating his wife for any of those reasons is 21.5%.
10 takeaways from the survey:
- For the kid’s sake: More women (20.9%) justify beating wives on the grounds of neglect of the children than for any other reason. It is closely followed by refusal to have sex (20.3%), while burning of food is the least justifiable reason at 11.8%.
- For sex sake: For men, the most justifiable reason for beating wives is if they refuse sex with the husbands (11.4%). This is followed by going out without telling him (10%), with burning of food also counting as the least justifiable reason for wife battery at 6.9%.
- Worst offenders: More women in the North Central region (40.3%) justify beating of wives than any other region in the country. More men in the South East (31.1%) justify the act than any other region.
- Least offender: Unsurprisingly for both women and men, the South West region has the least acceptance for beating of wives. The percentage is 14% for men and 23.7% for women in the region.
- The South East conundrum: As stated above, more men from the South East justify beating of wives than any other region. However, only 26% of South East women justify the act for any reason (the second least after the South West.)
- Any hope for the future?: Among men, 24.8% of those between the ages of 15 and 19 justified wife battery – that is more than any other age group. However, among women, those between 15 and 19 justified the action the least of all age groups (30.3%).
- Worst three believers in beating wives by states: For women – Benue (50.9%), Jigawa (50.7%) and Yobe (48.9%). For men – Borno (55.6%), Enugu (46.1%) and Abia (45.3%).
- Least three believers by states: For women – Lagos (4.7%), Anambra (8.7%) and Kwara (15.3%). For men – Bauchi (2.6%), FCT (2.7%) and Sokoto (2.8%).
- Economic status: For both men and women, those in the richest quintile were less likely to justify beating of wives. 16.2% of the richest men and 20.7% of richest women justified the act. However for men, the highest justification for wife battery came from those in the middle quintile (25.4%); while for women, the highest justification was among the poorest quintile (42.5%).
- About the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS): It is a primary source of information on women and children as it provides statistical indicators that are critical for the measurement of human development. It is an international household survey programme developed by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The MICS is designed to collect statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of key indicators that are used to assess the situation of children and women in the areas of health, education, child protection and HIV/AIDS. It can also be used as a data collection tool to generate data for monitoring the progress towards national goals and global commitments which aimed at promoting the welfare of children and women such as MDGs and SDGs.