Examining Bridewealth Payment and Male-Perpetrated Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in Ghana

Charlotte Ofori, Regional Institute for Population Studies, Univeristy of Ghana and Pennsylvania State University
Francis Dodoo, Pennsylvania State University
Naa Dodua Dodoo , University of Ghana
Adriana A. Biney, University of Ghana

Male-perpetrated intimate-partner violence is increasingly acknowledged as a major public health concern globally. Differential power-dynamics between intimate-partners have been deepened not only by economic/social advantages, but also the cultural-context within which unions are arranged could increase the risk of male-perpetrated violence against women. In sub-Saharan Africa where marriage is nearly universal and bridewealth is paid to legitimize marriages, payment could potentially create power imbalances between couples. This study examines 597 men aged19 years and older from the Bridewealth Payment and Normative Constraints on Women’s Lives Study in Ghana, by the Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana. Results suggest that bridewealth payment is significantly associated with perpetrating physical violence against female-intimate-partners. Age, education, religion, ethnicity and other personal-history characteristics are associated with perpetrating abuse. If research in the sub-region seeks to induce change, and reduce the high incidence of male-perpetrated violence against women, cultural-context and practices must be considered.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity