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Women's Perceptions of Intimate Partner Violence in Zambia
Authors: Erica Payton, Nneze Eluka, Richard Brown, and William N. Dudley
Source: Violence and Gender, DOI:
Topic(s): Domestic violence
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Mass media
Wealth Index
Women's health
Country: Africa
Published: DEC 2019
Abstract: Despite growing awareness of violence against women, intimate partner violence (IPV) continues to be a major public health issue worldwide. Understanding factors associated with attitudes toward violence against women is a crucial first step in developing prevention strategies to reduce the occurrence of IPV. This secondary data analysis used data from 9353 women who participated in the 2013–2014 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) to examine demographic and social factors associated with attitudes toward wife beating—a common type of IPV. Our main research objectives were: (1) examine the most common reasons for endorsement (justification) of wife beating by Zambian women and (2) determine the predictors of approval (or justification of) wife beating by Zambian women. In addition, this study investigated the relationship between wealth and media on perceptions of wife beating in Zambia. Descriptive, bivariate, multivariate, and logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the effects of sociodemographic factors on women's perceptions of wife beating. Over half (53.5%) of Zambian women endorsed at least one justification for wife beating. Wealth index, listening to the radio, reading the newspaper or magazine, and watching television (TV) were significant predictors of women's endorsement of wife beating. We also examined the role of media exposure as a mediator between wealth and endorsement of wife beating. Women who reported reading the newspaper or magazine and watching TV were less likely to support wife beating; however, women who listened to the radio were more likely to support wife beating. Justification and endorsement among Zambian women is problematic and suggests that for some, wife beating is a cultural norm. Interventions aimed at reducing wife beating in Zambia should include broad public awareness and media campaigns on violence against women.