Young Nigerian women, between the ages of 15 and 24 years old think that “it is reasonable for a husband to beat his wife” for some offences, according to two separate reports about women commissioned by the World Bank Group and the British Council.
Amina Salihu, author of the British Council report, said offences include burning the husband’s food, refusing to have sex with him or going out without his permission. Salihu warns that “this is a very serious statistics we should pay attention to as we work across generations.”
Salihu said she had been prepared for 60-70 year old women to think in this manner, but had never expected find acceptance to domestic violence amongst young women.
“Our young girls think that it is alright to have their human rights violated. We have our work cut out for us,” she said.
Ana Maria Munoz, a co-author of the World Bank report, added that not only have many women in developing countries experienced abuse, but they also justify the violence.
Munoz says “about 50% or more women think that it is okay to be a victim of physical violence by their partners” and the reasons she found are similar to that of for reasons like just disagreeing with him, burn his food or leaving his house without permission.”
Salihu said many women who are accepting of gender-based violence are often those who lack access to education and have been on the receiving end of abusive relationships
“Up to one third of the Nigerian women reported that they have been subjected to some form of violence. We heard mention about rape in the morning. One in five has experienced physical violence. Nearly half of the married women in parts of southern Nigeria have experienced physical violence.”
Salihu also looked at the role gender equality, in the work force and in the economy plays in the way women view domestic abuse.
She said: “Nigeria ranks 118 out of 134 countries on the gender equality index. And only 15% of women have a bank account in Nigeria of any kind, corporate account, individual account, savings account, current account, only 15%.”