A survey in Swaziland suggested four in 10 women believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife because he is the head of the household.
This is not the first time that so-called ‘Swazi culture’ has been investigated.
The APA news agency said a demographic health survey called the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Comparative Report gave a number reasons for wife-beating which included; ‘if she refused to have sex with him, if she argued with him, if she went out without telling him, if she neglected the children and if she had sex with other men’.
APA reported, ‘Silindelo Nkosi, the Communication and Advocacy Officer for Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) said, “These beliefs of justifying abuse have increased to the worst rate resulting in more young women dying in the hands of their lovers or husbands.”’
It added, ‘Clinical Psychologist Ndo Mdlalose describes this as an abusive mentality where men also tend to claim they are correcting their women by beating them.’
The report told us nothing new about Swazi culture and its abuse of women and girls.
The world famous medical journal, the Lancet in 2009 reported that one in three girls in Swaziland had experienced sexual violence by the age of 18, according to a study.
Sexual violence was defined as forced intercourse; coerced intercourse; attempted unwanted intercourse; unwanted touching; and forced touching.
The most common perpetrators of the first incident of sexual violence were men or boys from the girl’s neighbourhood or boyfriends or husbands. Over a quarter of all incidents of sexual violence occurred in the respondent’s own home, with a fifth occurring at the home of a friend, relative or neighbour.
In June 2008 it was reported that the National Democratic and Health Survey found that 40 percent of men in Swaziland said it is all right to beat women. The same year, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) found that the status of some women in Swaziland is so low that they are practically starved at meal times, because men folk eat first and if there is not enough food for everyone, the women must go without.
Women, who under traditional Swazi law are treated as children and are in effect owned by their husbands or fathers, were expected to live lives devoted to their men and families. A report on the State of the Population in Swaziland said that Swazi women were responsible for childbirth, raising the children and taking care of the entire family.
Women are expected to give their husbands sex on demand and those who refuse have been blamed for men who rape children.
SWAZI CULTURE LETS WOMEN STARVE
TWISTED SWAZI MEN RAPE CHILDREN
SHOCKING LIVES FOR SWAZI WOMEN