Domestic Violence in Ghana: Prevalence, Incidence and Causes

Civil society and governments around the world have long acknowledged that violence against women and girls is a major public policy and human rights concern. The persistence of domestic violence threatens the achievement of gender equality, and the empowerment of women as defined in the Millennium Development Goals.

In addition, domestic violence is associated with poor physical and mental health, higher risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, restricted livelihood options and choices, lower human capital and lower productivity (Garcia-Moreno et al. 2005; Moosa 2012). In 2008, 38.7 percent of ever-married Ghanaian women between the ages of 15 and 49 had experienced physical, emotional or sexual violence by a husband or partner at some point in their lives.

Although a lot of research and policy around domestic violence issues concentrates on women and girls, men and boys can equally be affected by domestic violence: 27.6 percent of Ghanaian males reported to have experienced physical or emotional violence exerted by their wife or partner at some point during their lives (GSS, GHS and ICF MACRO 2008).

The main aim of this study is to provide an in-depth understanding of trends and determinants of domestic violence in Ghana based on state-of-the-art evidence and analysis, which will strengthen advocacy and advance legal, policy and programmatic interventions aimed at countering domestic violence in Ghana. The proposed research aims to accomplish two main objectives:

  • Provide a systematic overview of existing information and data on the prevalence, incidence, nature and key drivers of domestic violence in Ghana that will serve as knowledge base for informed decision-making about interventions.
  • Collect and analyse a range of qualitative and quantitative rigorous evidence on trends and determinants of domestic violence among women and men in Ghana, which can be employed to monitor trends and identify progress made in future domestic violence interventions.

The project will be conducted by a highly skilled team that brings together individuals from several experienced and reputable institutions, each of which is considered a leader within its area of work. These are the Institute of Development Studies (Brighton, UK), Ghana Statistical Service (Accra, Ghana) and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana (Accra, Ghana).

Project details

start date
3 September 2014
end date
31 August 2016


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