Why Are Cases of Husband Battering On the Rise in Africa?

Fredrick Ngugi April 16, 2016
Joseph Mwangi at Othaya sub- county hospital's bed (Kenya) shows the bandaged head after he was battered by his wife. Source (www.the-star.co.ke)

Husband battering was once seen as a big joke but tables have swiftly turned and the joke is no longer funny. So many cases of violence against men especially by their wives are being reported almost on a daily basis across Africa.

In a society where women are seen as the weaker sex, it is laughable to hear that a man has been abused by his wife. But the sad truth is that this has been happening for the longest time ever.

How Bad Is It?

In Kenya, cases of husband abuse are so rampant that it has become a cause for concern for most people including politicians and clerics. According to statistics released by Maendeleo Ya Wanaume– a Kenyan non-profit organization formed mainly for the purpose of championing for the rights of Kenyan men- over 400,000 men are abused by women in Kenya every year.

Speaking to Capital News in February this year, the organization’s chairman Nderitu Njoka noted that the issues of men being battered started long ago and men have been silent about it because of the ridicule and stigma associated with it.

“This is an issue of supremacy and women wanting to dominate and take advantage of men,” Nderitu added.

In March this year, a Kenyan senator Moses Wetangula was reported to have been battered by his wife following a domestic quarrel, which forced him to file an assault case at Langata Police Station in Nairobi, Kenya.

The news of the senator’s assault caused a stir on social media as Kenyans made fun of him with some creating funny images to depict the assault. Click to read some of the social media conversations about Senator Moses Wetangula’s assault.

In Ghana, the situation is not getting any better as reports of men being abused by their wives are on a steady increase. According to a report published on Ghananation.com, at least 2,474 men in Ghana were abused by their wives in 2011. The report claimed that there was a significant increase of 62 percent from the 1,528 reported cases in 2010. So, why is this happening?

Poverty, Alcoholism and Absenteeism

With a significant number of households in Africa still living below the poverty line, many have attributed the rise in cases of husband battering to poverty. It’s alleged that some women are stressed and do not feel like their husbands are doing enough to address their plight, so they resort to violence.

Alcoholism is now a national disaster in Kenya and other parts of the world. Men are spending most of their time and money on liquor dens, leaving their wives to take care of their families. In an interview with the Star late last year, Murang’a County Council Chairman Mr. Martin Mwangi (Kenya) said that,

We are shocked by the news but is not a surprise since men in this area have become lazy to an extent that they are fed and dressed up by their wives.

In August 2015, Kenya adopted a new law that was created in an effort to reduce the increasing cases of domestic violence. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act 2015 covers all manner of domestic abuse including wife and husband battering, economic abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, property damage, widow cleansing, wife inheritance, and any other kind of abuse.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: April 16, 2016


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