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AD20: Zambians overwhelmingly disapprove of domestic violence and corporal punishment

Fison Mujenja 1 Apr 2015 Zambia
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Large majorities of Zambians say they are opposed to the use of physical force as a way to discipline wives and children.

Key findings
  • Nearly nine out of 10 Zambians (87%) say husbands should not have the right to physically punish their wives. Men (85%) are almost as likely as women (89%) to hold this view, which is shared equally by urban and rural residents.
  • About six out of 10 Zambians disapprove of parents using physical punishment to discipline their children, and about seven out of 10 do not agree that teachers have the right to physically punish pupils. Disapproval of corporal punishment of children is the majority view across respondents’ genders, locations, and education levels.

An overwhelming majority of Zambians say they are opposed to physical violence as a way to discipline women and children, Afrobarometer’s most recent survey reveals. Disapproval of wife battering is so widespread in Zambia that there is little or no difference in views across genders, urban/rural locations, or education levels.

Opposition to corporal punishment of children, both at home and at school, is also the majority view, though less widespread than disapproval of physical discipline of wives.

Even though most Zambians “strongly disagree” with the idea that husbands, parents, and teachers have the right to punish wives, children, and pupils, respectively, the 2013-2014 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey reports that 47% of married women have been victims of violence from their current or former husbands/partners, and 43% of victims incurred physical injuries (Zambia Central Statistical Office, 2015).

Fison Mujenja

Fison Mujenja is deputy chief executive officer of RuralNet Associates and Afrobarometer<br /> co-national investigator in Zambia.