More than one in four Africans see wife-beating as justifiable, Afrobarometer survey finds

About one in four African women – and even more African men – say wife-beating is at least sometimes justified, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey. In some countries, up to seven in 10 citizens endorse domestic violence.

While a sizeable majority (71%) of Africans say it is “never justified” for a man to beat his wife, 28% – including 24% of women – see wife-beating as “sometimes” or “always” justified. Acceptance of violence against women is particularly widespread in Central and West Africa and among respondents with no formal education.

These findings from national surveys in 34 countries are part of a soon-to-be-released Pan-Africa Profile analysis based on a special gender-equality survey module. The new report will also examine popular support for gender equality, government performance on women’s rights, and persistent gender gaps in education, employment, control over key assets, and access to technology.