Gender based violence



Gender-based violence is a commonly neglected human rights violation in Africa. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) defines it as harmful acts directed at an individual based on gender. Victims suffer physical, sexual, economic, and mental harm publicly and privately. Studies indicate that a large percentage of the victims are women. They estimate that one in every three women will experience physical or sexual violence.

Several African cultural and social norms foster gender-based violence. Many social organizations have raised awareness about this issue. They have informed women of their rights and offered legal support to victims. However, in their several roles as grandmothers, mothers, aunties, wives, and friends, some African women are barely reactive to helping suppress gender-based violence. If anything, they help promote it. 



Some women instil violence in their sons/grandsons through their teachings. They admonish them to break their wives until they are submissive and dominate their women in a way that inspires fear instead of respect.

They brainwash their sons that a woman treated with respect might take their politeness for being weak.

They claim that the solution for misconduct is to beat her as a form of discipline.

The sad reality is that some women who have been longtime victims of gender-based violence encourage their brothers to beat up their wives for minor reasons, e.g., coming home late, which could result from unavoidable circumstances. They openly support their brother’s actions and claim that a woman should not enter the house later than her husband. 

They urge women to endure and claim marriage is not for the fainthearted. Sometimes their first concern is to know what the lady has done wrong to upset the man even while her face is disfigured and bleeding from his battering. 


Women should sympathize with their fellow women. They are expected to advise their brother and sons to do better in solving domestic conflicts instead of igniting them to torture their wives.

For proper marital health, respect is one of the main factors that must be observed in solving any domestic conflict.

Juliet Valentine Nabatanzi


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