Dynamics of gender-based violence among the Tivs of North Central Nigeria

  • Clifford Odimegwu University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • Christian N. Okemgbo
  • Rosemary Ayila Research Center for Health and Gender Equity, Gboko, Nigeria
Keywords: Gender, Violence, Sexual, Reproductive health, Human rights


Gender-based violence has been noted as a major international public health and human right issue. Still relatively little is known about its frequency, sub-cultural variations and correlates in Nigeria. Data from a cross sectional sample of women in the North Central Region of Nigeria were used to examine women’s experience and perception of gender-based violence. The types and levels of gender-based violence were measured and logistic regression was performed to identify critical significant factors affecting different types of gender-based violence. This was done by analyzing the association between socioeconomic, cultural and demographic variables and types of gender-based violence identified in the study. While there is a high prevalence of gender-based violence in terms of wife battery and marital sexual rape, their incidence is low. There is social approval for intimate partner violence while respondents did not agree that sexual rape occurs in marriage. Attitudes to gender based violence are supportive as most participant respondents see the tradition of wife battery as a demonstration of love. Most respondents would not report any experience of gender-based violence to the law enforcement agencies and the public. Women who have suffered intimate partner violence are more likely to have suffered rape and psychological abuse. There is statistical difference in social-health consequences reported by abused and non abused women. There is no consistent association between socioeconomic and demographic variables and types of gender-based violence. Gender-based violence interventions should focus on its social-health consequences instead of how to change men. A significant progress would be made if communities and individuals are aware of the social, human right and reproductive health consequences of forms of gender-based violence.

Author Biography

Clifford Odimegwu, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Program in Demography and Population Studies