Violence Against Wives

Violence against women poses a serious challenge to women’s empowerment. Combating such violence often requires changing the attitudes and beliefs of both men and women. In fact, in some countries, substantial percentages of women actually agree that a husband has the right to beat a wife under certain circumstances. Many of these women believe a husband is justified in hitting a wife who goes out on her own without telling the husband. It is encouraging that these beliefs appear to be moderating in most countries. For example, in 2013, 13 percent of Nigerian men and 25 percent of Nigerian women viewed a wife leaving home without telling the husband as justification for wife beating, down from 19 percent and 32 percent, respectively, in 2008. Zambia also showed notable drops for both men and women between 2007 and 2013-2014. Globally, however, there is still a long path to achieve zero global tolerance of this harmful practice.