Intimate partner violence (IPV) has serious consequences for the physical, psychological, and reproductive and sexual health of women. However, the factors that make women to justify domestic violence against wives in many sub-Saharan African countries have not been explored. This study investigates factors that influence women approval of domestic physical violence among Ghanaian women aged 15–49.
A nationally representative sampled data ( N = 10,607) collected in the 2003 and 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey were used. Multivariate logistic regression was used to study the associations between women’s economic and socio-demographic characteristics and their approval of domestic physical violence against wives.
Women aged 25–34 and 15–24 were 1.5 and 1.3 times, respectively, more likely to approve domestic physical violence against wives compared to those aged 35 years and above. Furthermore, women with no education (OR = 3.1, CI = 2.4–3.9), primary education (OR = 2.6, CI = 2.1–3.3) and junior secondary education (OR = 1.8, CI = 1.4–2.2) had higher probability of approving domestic physical violence compared to a woman who had secondary education or higher. Compared to women with Christian belief, Moslems (OR = 1.5, CI = 1.3–1.8) and Traditional believer (OR = 1.7, CI = 1.2–2.4) were more likely to approve domestic physical violence of wives. Women who were in the richest, rich and middle wealth index categories were less likely to approve domestic physical violence of wives compared to the poorest.
These findings fill a gap in understanding economic and socio-demographic factors associated with approval of domestic physical violence of wives. Interventions and policies should be geared at contextualizing intimate partner violence in terms of the justification of this behaviour, as this can play an important role in perpetration and victimization.