Male Partner Violence against Women in Northern Ghana: Its Dimensions and Health Policy Implicationsedit
The study was conducted in northern Ghana to determine the scope of male partner violence (MPV) against women, identify the factors associated with this problem as well as point out the health implications of MPV. In a sample of 443 married women drawn from outpatient populations across six district health centers we found that nearly 7 out of 10 women have experienced some MPV: 62% have experienced psychological violence; 29% have experienced physical violence; and 34% have experienced sexual violence. A multiple regression analysis showed that male controlling behavior, number of children, presence of concubines, partner appreciation, and very good health significantly predicted Total Violence. The results showed that the more controlling a husband is the more likely his wife is to experience severe violence and that more children in the marriage is associated with more violence for the women. Marriage duration was significantly positively correlated with violence, indicating that the longer the time since a woman got married, the more likely she experiences violence. Husband’s education was significantly negatively correlated with violence, indicating that husband education has a decreased effect on violence. Logistic regression and ANOVA models identified a number of socio-demographic factors as significant correlates of MPV. These include couple’s unemployment, particularly husband unemployment, being young – under 30 years and being younger than the husband, presence of concubines, being Muslim or Traditional, living in a rural setting, husband alcohol use, being a healthy woman, and not being appreciated by the husband. We found that MPV is associated with physical and mental health difficulties among women. Some 47 women reported having sustained multiple injuries, including sprains, broken bones and teeth, cuts, and burns. Mental health difficulties among these women included partner phobia, sleep deprivation, and thoughts of suicide. We make recommendations that call on government and other stakeholders to initiate policy that provides services to women experiencing MPV and that implements education and campaign programs to eventually eliminate MPV in Ghana generally.