This paper assesses the significance of a set of threats of domestic violence in ten West African countries that arguably limit the potential of women in particular and the development of society. The data consists of the most recent year of a country-specific Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), conducted in the same way for each participating country. The risk of domestic violence and the intensity of its threat are assessed using different probabilistic model specifications together with an assessment of how heterogeneous/homogenous are these effects across the set of countries. The overall results suggest that religion has played a significant role in relation to domestic violence in most countries, the exceptions being Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Area of residence (rural) has played an important positive role in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The lack of education increases the threat in Benin, Burkina, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria. The level of well-being and/or household’s level of wealth have a significant negative impact on the threat of domestic violence in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. The factor that defines the improvement in wife’s social status which is characterized in the sample by the wife’s higher level of education has been also important in reducing the threat of domestic violence in Benin, Ghana and Senegal. Finally, out of the ten countries, a married female it is at the highest risk of violence in Guinea and at the lower risk in Ghana(except for the wives living in rural areas).

Additional Metadata
Keywords “threat” of domestic violence, women empowerment, West Africa
Publisher Department of Economics
Series Carleton Economic Papers (CEP)
Voia, M.-C, & Diallo, S. (2013). The Threat of Domestic Violence and Women's Empowerment: The Case of West Africa (No. CEP 13-05). Carleton Economic Papers (CEP). Department of Economics.