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Recent trends in African attitudes about violence against women

Rachael S. Pierotti, University of Michigan

Since the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, violence against women has become an important subject of international advocacy and development programming worldwide. Yet, little multi-national research has examined the results of efforts to promote gender equality and combat violence against women. Using Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two time points in twelve countries, I show that there have been substantial decreases in the proportion of adults reporting that a man is sometimes justified in beating his wife. Further analysis shows that changes are primarily due to lower average acceptance of domestic violence among all segments of the population, and are not attributable to changes in population composition. Finally, I examine whether access to international discourse on gender is a significant predictor of attitudes about wife beating.

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Presented in Session 99: Gender-based violence