Ghanaian people are ranked among the friendliest people in the world, but unfortunately, that is not the case when it comes to how they treat each other inside their homes. There is a deep cultural belief in Ghana that it is normal for husbands to treat their wives badly by abusing them physically. That is why domestic violence in Ghana has become something we can hear of from time to time. There are many Ghanaian men who choose to discipline their wives physically and not by any other means of behavior. Unfortunately, about 33% of Ghanaian women experience domestic violence at their homes.
The Main Causes of Domestic Violence in Ghana
One of the main causes of domestic violence in Ghana is alcohol. Many Ghanaian men are known for getting drunk, and then physically abusing their wives for whatever reasons. Alcohol tends to make people more aggressive, and this is one of the main causes of domestic violence in many countries around and the world, and not only in Ghana. Education in Ghana is not at its best, especially in urban areas where more Ghanaian women are more likely to experience domestic violence compared to other women who live in big cities. There is no doubt that a well-educated man would not get drunk regularly and mistreat his wife, as educated people know very well the bad effects of alcohol on themselves and on the people surrounding them, whether in their families or in the society.
Most of the reported cases of domestic violence in Ghana have occurred with women whose husbands used to see their mothers getting beaten by their own fathers when they were kids. As a result, they have grown up thinking that it is something normal for women to get frequently disciplined by their husbands using physical abuse. To sum it all up, place of residence, education, alcohol, and family history of violence increase the probability of women getting physically abused by their partners. The most common types of domestic violence in Ghana include verbal and psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.
Statistics of Domestic Violence Causes in Ghana
The last statistics that were made included over 1500 women from different regions in Ghana, and over 33% of these women, have experienced different kinds of domestic violence at their homes. It was concluded that the risk of suffering from domestic violence was 35% higher for women who live in urban areas and not in big cities where it is more probable to find more well-educated men. There are also statistics that prove that Ghanaian women, whose husbands regularly drink alcohol a few days a week, are more likely to suffer from domestic violence compared to other women whose husbands do not drink. That is one of the main reasons Ghanaian women prefer to get married to an educated man who does not drink alcohol, as statistics of domestic violence in Ghana have also proven that women, who are married to educated men, are 48% less likely to suffer from domestic violence compared to other women who are married to men who never had any formal education.
How to Tackle Domestic Violence in Ghana
In 2007, the Ghanaian government has created the domestic violence act Ghana in an attempt to reduce the percentage of Ghanaian women who suffer from domestic violence every day. The act was contradicted by many Ghanaian men and religious leaders who were convinced that such a law is against the traditional African values and that the law was made under an influence from western countries. The law was implemented on 21 February 2007 and it addresses many kinds of domestic violence in Ghana such as physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, psychological violence, and economic violence. It is of course very important that more Ghanaian men become aware of this law, so that they can understand that abusing their partners is against the law, and that they may get punished for this abuse by the government.
One of the most important methods of tackling domestic violence in Ghanaian homes is by spreading cultural awareness and by offering free educational programs for Ghanaian men and women, especially in urban areas. Women need to start understanding that what is happening to them is not acceptable, and men need to become more aware of the domestic violence act. TV, radio, and computer advertisements can contribute to the spread of cultural awareness in such urban areas. There should also be rehab centers for treating alcoholics in different Ghanaian regions, as alcohol addiction is a serious issue that causes many issues in different societies.
The Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation
There is an organization called The Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation that aims to ensure gender equity through good governance in rural and urban communities that are located in northern Ghana. The organization was founded in 2000 as a support group for Ghanaian girls and women who were suffering from domestic violence, and it developed into becoming one of the biggest organizations for women’s rights in Ghana. It now includes over 75 community groups in rural and urban districts in Ghana. It also deals with local government officials and traditional African chiefs to protect women’s rights and to ensure that women can live in a peaceful environment where they can have access to justice without facing abuse or discrimination in their communities. One of the main responsibilities of this organization is to work on reducing and putting an end to early and forced marriages in urban communities, and to end the discrimination against women who are accused of practicing witchcraft, as such women are regularly subjected to severe torture and abuse.
With such organizations becoming more popular and famous in Ghana, many Ghanaian women can start hoping for a better future for themselves and for their children. Such organizations would also guarantee that future generations of men won’t abuse their women or abuse them by any means.