- GBV tops the list of women’s-rights issues that Angolans say the government and society must address.
- A majority (62%) of Angolans say violence against women and girls is “very common” (27%) or “somewhat common” (35%) in their community.
- More than two-thirds (69%) of citizens say it is “never” justified for a man to use physical force to discipline his wife. Three in 10 consider it “sometimes” (20%) or “always” (9%) justified.
- About half (49%) of Angolans consider it “somewhat likely” or “very likely” that a woman who reports GBV will be criticised, harassed, or shamed by members of the community.
- Two-thirds (67%) of Angolans say domestic violence should be treated as a criminal matter, rather than a private matter to be resolved within the family.
Gender-based violence (GBV) threatens the health, well-being, and lives of women throughout Angolan society. The most recent Multiple Indicator and Health Survey reports that 32% of Angolan women have suffered physical violence since the age of 15; 8% will be victims of sexual violence at some point in their lives; and 34% have been victims of physical or sexual violence perpetrated by their husbands or partners (Instituto Nacional de Estatística (2017).
The Angolan government has ratified international conventions and instruments to combat GBV, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (United Nations, 1979) and the Maputo Protocol (African Union, 2003), and the country’s laws against domestic violence and National Policy on Equality and Gender Equity seek to protect women against violence.
But despite these normative and legal instruments, there are still major challenges in the fight against GBV, both in society’s appreciation of the need to combat it and the government’s commitment to decisive action for its elimination. In his State of the Nation address in October, President João Lourenço (2022) called for stronger penalties to reduce domestic violence in the country.
This dispatch reports on a special survey module included in the Afrobarometer Round 9 (2021/2022) questionnaire to explore Africans’ experiences and perceptions of gender- based violence.
Angolans consider gender-based violence the most important women’s-rights issue that the government and society must address. A majority of citizens say GBV is a common reality in their communities and should be treated as a criminal matter, rather than a private matter to be resolved within the family. Citizens express confidence that the police take reported GBV cases seriously.