Gender and Behaviour

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Do Social and Cultural Factors Perpetuate Gender Based Violence in Malawi?

T Bisika


Gender based violence in Malawi exist at a level that requires special acknowledgement. A survey was conducted to assess how social and cultural factors affect gender-based violence in Malawi. The study revealed that both men and women are victims of gender based violence although women bare the brunt of the practice. Men abuse women through battery, use of abusive language, not providing some requirements and overworking them. Women abuse men by not giving them food and engaging in extra marital affairs. The study concluded that there are cultural practices and beliefs that perpetuate gender-based violence and these include “chiongo”-dowry, polygamy, “the notion of household head”, male mobility, forced marriage and not having sex with a woman when she is menstruating and during post-partum abstinence which can force a man to have extra-marital sex.

Keywords: socio-cultural factors, women, gender based violence, Malawi

Gender & Behaviour Vol. 6 (2) 2008: pp. 1884-1896
AJOL African Journals Online