Socio-economic Dimensions of Family Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Vesper H. Chisumpa
  • Pamela Chirwa-Banda


Violence in its various forms remains a major social and public health issue of concern, with serious health consequences for the victims. It has implications for the post-2015 development agenda and the attainment of sustainable development goals numbers 5 and 16. This chapter explores the levels and types of domestic violence, with a focus on the socio-economic dimensions of family violence and its implications in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The chapter uses Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data collected between 2011 and 2015 on domestic violence from 19 SSA countries, to investigate the association between educational attainment, wealth status, employment and family violence. Results show variations in the prevalence of family violence across countries with high prevalence of family violence, above 50%, in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Gabon, Sierra Leone and Uganda. In most SSA countries, women who were currently and formerly married, employed for cash and witnessed parental violence were more likely to experience family violence. Mixed results were obtained for education and wealth status, due to variations in country contexts. The findings highlight the importance of understanding the socio-economic dynamics of the family and gender equality outcomes, in the context of demographic transition and sustainable development goals. Policies and programmes should be targeted at strengthening families and their welfare.


Socio-economic Violence Family Sub-Saharan Africa 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vesper H. Chisumpa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pamela Chirwa-Banda
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Population Studies, School of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of ZambiaLusakaZambia
  2. 2.Demography and Population Studies Programme, Schools of Public Health and Social SciencesUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Demography and Population Studies Programme, Schools of Public Health and Social SciencesUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.Provincial Education Offices, Ministry of EducationLusakaZambia

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