North East, West Have Highest Number of People Who Justify Wife Beating

Among the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, North East and North West have the highest number of people who justified wife-beating, according to data obtained from StatiSense, a data-tech company with expertise in analysis, infographics and training among others.

Presumably, the data interpreted that the northeastern and western states top the list in various categories of why husbands beat their wives.

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The data sourced from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) further stated reasons why husbands beat their wives. They include food burning, neglecting children, arguments and non-consent. It also showed the percentages of men and women who justified wife battering.

StatiSense | Twitter


Some men beat their wives for neglecting their children, the data revealed, showing the percentage of women and men who justified this.

In North East, 32.3% of women supported wife battering as a punishment for neglecting children. This is way up higher than 21.1% of men who shared held a similar perception.

In North West, 31.4% of women justified wife battering for neglecting children. They were backed by 14.9% of the opposite gender.

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While North Central and South East have fewer men [5% and 6.1%] who supported such punishment for the offence, their women outnumbered them with 24% and 13.4% accordingly.

In South-South, there was a slight margin between men and women who justified wife battering for neglecting children. While 10.9% of men supported this, they were seconded by 11.6% of women.

In South West, 7.4% and 4.7% of men and women nodded to wife-beating for this particular offence.

StatiSense | Twitter


North East and North West, again top list of geo-political zones with the highest number of people who justified wife beating for going out without their husbands’ consent.

A large chunk of women (34.8%) in North East believed husbands could beat their wives who go out without prior consent. However, they share similar beliefs with 19.2% of men in the geo-political zone.

Women in North West still maintained their position just like their counterparts in North East. Approximately, 35% of them voted in favour of wife battering for the above offence. They held the same perception as 16.2% of men in Northwestern states.

StatiSense | Twitter

In Noth Central, 21.5% of women outshined 5% of men in justifying wife beating in a case a woman goes out without her husband’s permission.

Twelve per cent of women in the South East shared similar views as their contemporaries in other regions. Their men (7.3%) agreed with them. In South-South, women (10.1%) and men (13.1%), held the same beliefs.

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A slight margin was between men (5.1%) and women (4.6%) in South West.


An estimated percentage of 18 men in North East would support wife-beating in a situation where food got burnt. Similarly, 23.7% of women agreed with them.

North West, again, maintained its second position in this category with 24.7% of women and 11.1% of men, supporting wife battering.

StatiSense | Twitter

Men in North Central and South West portrayed civility with 2.1% and 2% in South West against 14.4% and 2.2% of women who justified wife battering for burnt food. In South South, 3.4% of men and women agreed that husbands can beat their wives for burning food. However, 5.9% of women and 2.8% of men held the same beliefs in South East.


A joint percentage of 53.5 men and women in North East argued that husbands can beat their wives who argue with them. The statistics reduced in North West, where 43.7% voted for the same motion. Jointly, the statistics declined in North Central (29.9%), South East (21.8%), South-South (22.4%) and 9% in South West.

StatiSense | Twitter


The Executive Director of Alheri Community Development and Support Initiative (Alheri-CDSI), a civil society organisation in North East, Dr Hamid Adamu Mohammad, said the issue of wife battering is rooted in cultural and religious beliefs. Level of education also contributes, he opined.

According to him, some people misunderstood the position of Islam that husband could beat their wives if they go wrong. “But marriage is not like that in Islam. Though authority belongs to husbands in marriage, Islam restricts misusing the authority,” he said.

Dr Hamid urged non-governmental organisations to get scholars who understand religion and family building for effective awareness against wife battering.

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“Husbands are to treat their wives well,” he said, adding they should pamper and cajole them. “These are the kinds of things religious leaders should emphasise in marital relationship, rather than emphasising that husbands could beat their wives.”

He added: “If they say you have the right to beat your wife, what type of beating? There was no time the prophet battered his wives. He said you should protect them as your dignity and value them previously.”

In close, Dr Hamid noted that there is a need for town hall meetings and awareness against wife battering.


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