'Small small quarrels bring about happiness or love in the relationships’: Exploring community perceptions and gendered norms contributing to male perpetrated intimate partner violence in the Central Region of Ghana

Autoři: Phyllis Dako-Gyeke aff001;  Adolphina Addoley Addo-Lartey aff002;  Deda Ogum Alangea aff003;  Yandisa Sikweyiya aff004;  Esnat Dorothy Chirwa aff004;  Dorcas Coker-Appiah aff005;  Rachel Jewkes aff004;  Richard Mawuena Kofi Adanu aff003
Působiště autorů: Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana aff001;  Department of Epidemiology and Disease Control, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana aff002;  Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana aff003;  Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa aff004;  Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre, Accra, Ghana aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225296


In this paper, we explore gender norms held by men and women that might contribute to male perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) in Ghana. This qualitative research was conducted at the pre-intervention stage of a cluster randomized controlled trial. Our intervention uses community-based action teams to change social norms on gender and violence. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted within communities. We found that male perpetrated IPV is a common phenomenon within the study communities, yet it is complex and experienced differently depending on the context. A woman’s non-compliance with gender norms provided context for the male partner to enforce societal conformity through IPV. Also, male partners’ misbehavior (e.g. alcohol abuse) may exacerbate IPV. Whereas the former is socially acceptable, the latter may be contested. Victims may challenge/counteract IPV using varying tactics (e.g. threats), which were mainly directed toward male partners’ immoral behavior. We conclude that there is a need to assess IPV with key considerations for female agency, as some victims may respond with violence. Moreover, some communities have the tendency to demonstrate more gender-equitable attitudes regarding male perpetration of IPV, as indicated by laws instituted by some traditional leaders to deter perpetrators. These are key learnings that can inform the design and delivery of various interventions that seek to address IPV.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Domestic violence – Finance – Ghana – Children – Intimate partner violence – Qualitative studies – Religion


1. García-Moreno C, Amin A. The sustainable development goals, violence and women’s and children’s health. Bull World Health Organ. 2016;94(5):396–7. doi: 10.2471/BLT.16.172205 27147771

2. Calle EE, Flanders WD, Thun MJ, Martin LM. Demographic predictors of mammography and Pap smear screening in US women. Am J Public Health. 1993;83(1):53–60. doi: 10.2105/ajph.83.1.53 8417607

3. World Health Organisation. Understanding and addressing violence against women: intimate partner violence. World Heal Organ. 2012;1–12.

4. Garcia-Moreno C, Jansen HA, Ellsberg M, Heise L, Watts CH. Prevalence of intimate partner violence: findings from the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence. Lancet. 2006;368(9543):1260–9. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69523-8 17027732

5. Uthman OA, Lawoko S, Moradi T. The role of individual, community and societal gender inequality in forming women’s attitudes toward intimate-partner violence against women: a multilevel analysis. World Health Popul. 2010;12(2):5–17. doi: 10.12927/whp.2010.22007 21157193

6. Boy A, Kulczycki A. What we know about intimate partner violence in the middle East and North Africa. Violence Against Women. 2008;14(1):53–70. doi: 10.1177/1077801207311860 18096859

7. Institute of Development Studies and Ghana Statistical Services. Prevalence of Sexual and Psychological violence. Accra; 2016.

8. Abramsky T, Devries KM, Michau L, Nakuti J, Musuya T, Kiss L, et al. Ecological pathways to prevention: How does the SASA! community mobilisation model work to prevent physical intimate partner violence against women? BMC Public Health. 2016;16(1):339.

9. Heise LL. Violence against women: An integrated, ecological framework. Violence Against Women. 1998;4(3):262–90. doi: 10.1177/1077801298004003002 12296014

10. Sedziafa AP, Tenkorang EY, Owusu AY. Kinship and intimate partner violence against married women in Ghana: A qualitative exploration. J Interpers Violence. 2018;33(14):2197–224. doi: 10.1177/0886260515624213 29889003

11. Amoakohene MI. Violence against women in Ghana: A look at women’s perceptions and review of policy and social responses. Soc Sci Med. 2004;59(11):2373–85. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.04.001 15450710

12. Mann JR, Takyi BK. Autonomy, dependence or culture: Examining the impact of resources and socio-cultural processes on attitudes towards intimate partner violence in Ghana, Africa. J Fam Violence. 2009;24(5):323–35.

13. Oppong Asante K, Osafo J, Nyamekye GK. An exploratory study of factors contributing to divorce among married couples in Accra, Ghana: A qualitative approach. J Divorce Remarriage. 2014;55(1):16–32.

14. Merzel C, D’Afflitti J. Reconsidering community-based health promotion: promise, performance, and potential. Am J Public Health. 2003;93(4):557–74. doi: 10.2105/ajph.93.4.557 12660197

15. Green LW, Mercer SL. Can public health researchers and agencies reconcile the push from funding bodies and the pull from communities? Am J Public Health. 2001;91(12):1926–9. doi: 10.2105/ajph.91.12.1926 11726367

16. MacQueen KM, McLellan E, Metzger DS, Kegeles S, Strauss RP, Scotti R, et al. What is community? An evidence-based definition for participatory public health. Am J Public Health. 2001;91(12):1929–38. doi: 10.2105/ajph.91.12.1929 11726368

17. Mendel P, Meredith LS, Schoenbaum M, Sherbourne CD, Wells KB. Interventions in organizational and community context: a framework for building evidence on dissemination and implementation in health services research. Adm Policy Ment Heal Ment Heal Serv Res. 2008;35(1–2):21–37.

18. Yount KM, James-Hawkins L, Cheong YF, Naved RT. Men’s perpetration of partner violence in Bangladesh: Community gender norms and violence in childhood. Psychol Men Masc. 2018;19(1):117. doi: 10.1037/men0000069 29520198

19. Addo-Lartey AA, Ogum Alangea D, Sikweyiya Y, Chirwa ED, Coker-Appiah D, Jewkes R, et al. Rural response system to prevent violence against women: methodology for a community randomised controlled trial in the central region of Ghana. Glob Health Action. 2019;12(1):1612604. doi: 10.1080/16549716.2019.1612604 31134866

20. Alangea DO, Addo-Lartey AA, Sikweyiya Y, Chirwa ED, Coker-Appiah D, Jewkes R, et al. Prevalence and risk factors of intimate partner violence among women in four districts of the central region of Ghana: Baseline findings from a cluster randomised controlled trial. PLoS One. 2018;13(7):e0200874. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200874 30024948

21. Tong A, Sainsbury P, Craig J. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups. Int J Qual Heal care. 2007;19(6):349–57.

22. Ghana Statistics Service. 2010 Population & Housing Census: National Analytical Report. Accra. 2013.

23. Francis JJ, Johnston M, Robertson C, Glidewell L, Entwistle V, Eccles MP, et al. What is an adequate sample size? Operationalising data saturation for theory-based interview studies. Psychol Heal. 2010;25(10):1229–45.

24. Guest G, Namey E, McKenna K. How many focus groups are enough? Building an evidence base for nonprobability sample sizes. Field methods. 2017;29(1):3–22.

25. Onwuegbuzie AJ, Leech NL. Sampling designs in qualitative research: Making the sampling process more public. Qual Rep. 2007;12(2):238–54.

26. UN WOMEN. Violence against Women Prevalence Data: Surveys by Country. Expert Gr Meet Indic to Meas violence against women. 2012;(October):1–34.

27. Devries KM, Mak JYT, García-Moreno C, Petzold M, Child JC, Falder G, et al. The global prevalence of intimate partner violence against women. Science. 2013;340:1527–8. doi: 10.1126/science.1240937 23788730

28. World Health Organization. Understanding and addressing violence against women: Intimate partner violence. World Health Organization; 2012.

29. Thompson RS, Bonomi AE, Anderson M, Reid RJ, Dimer JA, Carrell D, et al. Intimate Partner Violence. Prevalence, Types, and Chronicity in Adult Women. Am J Prev Med. 2006;30(6):447–57. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2006.01.016 16704937

30. Vung ND, Ostergren P-O, Krantz G. Intimate partner violence against women, health effects and health care seeking in rural Vietnam. Eur J Public Health. 2009;19(2):178–82. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckn136 19131396

31. Ncube N. “Breaking the Silence”: Determinants of under-reporting of Intimate-partner Violence (IPV) among Women Survivors in Gweru Urban, Zimbabwe. Int J Innov Res Dev. 2017 Jun 30;6(6). doi: 10.24940/ijird/2017/v6/i6/JUN17002

32. Dobash RE, Dobash RP. When Men Murder Women. When Men Murder Women. Oxford University Press, New York, NY. 2015. p. 1–360.

33. Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) and Associates. Domestic Violence in Ghana: Incidence, Attitudes, Determinants and Consequences. Brighton. IDS. 2016. http://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/handle/123456789/12168

34. Bell KM, Naugle AE. Intimate partner violence theoretical considerations: Moving towards a contextual framework. Clin Psych Rev. 2008;28:1096–107.

35. Caldwell JE, Swan SC, Woodbrown VD. Gender differences in intimate partner violence outcomes. Psychol Violence. 2012;2(1):42–57.

36. Gilfus ME, Trabold N, O’Brien P, Fleck-Henderson A. Gender and intimate partner violence: Evaluating the evidence. J Soc Work Educ. 2010;46(2):245–63.

37. Connell R. Gender, health and theory: Conceptualizing the issue, in local and world perspective. Soc Sci Med. 2012;74(11):1675–83. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.06.006 21764489

38. Horn R, Puffer ES, Roesch E, Lehmann H. Women’s perceptions of effects of war on intimate partner violence and gender roles in two post-conflict West African Countries: Consequences and unexpected opportunities. Confl Health. 2014;8(1).

39. Jewkes R, Levin J, Penn-Kekana L. Risk factors for domestic violence: Findings from a South African cross-sectional study. Soc Sci Med. 2002;55(9):1603–17. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(01)00294-5 12297246

40. Owoaje EMET, Olaolorun FM. Intimate partner violence among women in a migrant community in southwest Nigeria. Int Q Community Health Educ. 2006;25(4):337–49.

41. Doku DT, Asante KO. Women’s approval of domestic physical violence against wives: Analysis of the Ghana demographic and health survey. BMC Womens Health. 2015;15(1).

42. Gervais SJ, DiLillo D, McChargue D. Understanding the link between men’s alcohol use and sexual violence perpetration: The mediating role of sexual objectification. Psychol Violence. 2014;4(2):156–69.

43. Ampofo AA. “When Men Speak Women Listen”: Gender Socialisation and Young Adolescents’ Attitudes to Sexual and Reproductive Issues. Afr J Reprod Health. 2001;5(3):196. 12471941

44. Adodo-Samani PM. Criminalisation of Marital Rape in Ghana; The Perceptions of Married Men and Women In Accra. University of Ghana; 2015.

45. Takyi BK, Lamptey E. Faith and marital violence in Sub-Saharan Africa: exploring the links between religious affiliation and intimate partner violence among women in Ghana. J Interpers Violence. 2016 Nov 1:886260516676476. doi: 10.1177/0886260516676476 27864519

46. Adjei SB. Partner dependency and intimate partner abuse: A sociocultural grounding of spousal abuse in Ghana. Psychol Stud (Mysore). 2015;60(4):422–7.

47. Campbell C, Mannell J. Conceptualising the agency of highly marginalised women: Intimate partner violence in extreme settings. Glob Public Health. 2016;11(1–2):1–16. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2015.1109694 26669895

48. Dobash RP, Dobash RE, Cavanagh K, Lewis R. Separate and intersecting realities: A comparison of men’s and women’s accounts of violence against women. Violence Against Woman. 1998;4(4):382–414.

49. Pells K, Wilson E, Thi Thu Hang N. Negotiating agency in cases of intimate partner violence in Vietnam. Glob Public Health. 2016;11(1–2):34–47. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2015.1028958 25849151

50. Mannell J, Jackson S, Umutoni A. Women’s responses to intimate partner violence in Rwanda: Rethinking agency in constrained social contexts. Glob Public Health. 2016;11(1–2):65–81. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2015.1013050 25734771

51. Kabeer N. Resources, agency, achievements: Reflections on the measurement of women’s empowerment. Dev Change. 1999;30(3):435–64.

52. Burgess R, Campbell C. Creating social policy to support women’s agency in coercive settings: a case study from Uganda. Glob Public Health. 2016;11(1–2):48–64. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2015.1005654 25748445

53. Waltermaurer E. Public Justification of Intimate Partner Violence: A Review of the Literature. Trauma, Violence, Abus. 2012;13(5):167–75.

54. Owusu Adjah ES, Agbemafle I. Determinants of domestic violence against women in Ghana. BMC Public Health. 2016;16(1):368.

55. Flynn A, Graham K. “Why did it happen?” A review and conceptual framework for research on perpetrators’ and victims’ explanations for intimate partner violence. Aggression and Violent Behavior. 2010;15:239–51. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2010.01.002 20436933

56. Jewkes RK, Dunkle K, Nduna M, Shai N. Intimate partner violence, relationship power inequity, and incidence of HIV infection in young women in South Africa: a cohort study. Lancet. 2010;376(9734):41–8. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60548-X 20557928

57. Gaventa J. Finding the spaces for change: a power analysis. IDS Bull. 2006;37(6):23–33.

58. Pettifor AE, Rees HV, Steffenson A, Hlongwa-Madikizela L, MacPhail C Vermaak K, et al. HIV and sexual behaviour among young South Africans: a national survey of 15–24 year olds. Johannesburg: Reproductive Health Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, 2004.

59. Jewkes R, Abrahams N. The epidemiology of rape and sexual coercion in South Africa: an overview. Soc Sci Med. 2002;55(7):1231–44. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(01)00242-8 12365533

60. James-Hawkins L, Salazar K, Hennink MM, Ha VS, Yount KM. Norms of masculinity and the cultural narrative of intimate partner violence among men in Vietnam. J Interpers Violence. 2019 Nov;34(21–22):4421–42. doi: 10.1177/0886260516674941 29294621

61. Bowman CG. Theories on domestic violence in the african context. Cornell Law Faculty Publications. 2003. http://wwwserver.law.wits.ac.za/salc/discussn/dp70.

62. Krantz G, Garcia-Moreno C. Violence against women. J Epidemiol Community Heal. 2005;59(10):818–21.

63. Ampofo AA. Women’s and Gender Studies in English-Speaking Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Research in the Social Sciences. Gender & Society. 2004;18:685–714.

64. Gelles RJ, Straus MA. Violence in the American Family. J Soc Issues. 1979;35(2):15–39.

65. Steinmetz SK, Straus MA. The family as cradle of violence. Society. 1973;10:50. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02695281

66. Pierotti RS. Increasing Rejection of Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence of Global Cultural Diffusion. Am Sociol Rev. 2013;78(2):240–65.

67. Foran HM, O’Leary KD. Alcohol and intimate partner violence: A meta-analytic review. Clin Psychol Rev. 2008;28:1222–34. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2008.05.001 18550239

68. Kiss L, Schraiber LB, Heise L, Zimmerman C, Gouveia N, Watts C. Gender-based violence and socioeconomic inequalities: Does living in more deprived neighbourhoods increase women’s risk of intimate partner violence? Soc Sci Med. 2012;74(8):1172–9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.033 22361088

69. Oladepo O, Yusuf OB, Arulogun OS. Factors Influencing Gender Based Violence Among Men and Women in Selected States in Nigeria. Afr J Reprod Health. 2011;15(4):78–86. 22571109

70. Tenkorang EY, Owusu AY, Yeboah EH, Bannerman R. Factors Influencing Domestic and Marital Violence against Women in Ghana. J Fam Violence. 2013;28(8):771–81.

71. Gottfredson MR, Hirschi T. A general theory of crime. Stanford University Press; 1990.

72. Wikström P-OH, Treiber K. The role of self-control in crime causation: Beyond Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime. Eur J Criminol. 2007;4(2):237–64.

73. Parkes J, Heslop J, Oando S, Sabaa S, Januario F, Figue A. Conceptualising gender and violence in research: Insights from studies in schools and communities in Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. Int J Educ Dev. 2013;33(6):546–56.

74. Bunch C. Women’s rights and gender at the United Nations: the case for a new gender equality architecture. 2009.

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11