A recent Afrobarometer survey show that Nigerians rank GBV as the third-most-important women’s-rights issue that the government and society must address, and that views are divided as to whether violence against girls and women is a common occurrence in their community.
Citizens overwhelmingly oppose the use of physical discipline against women. 79% citizens say there is no justification for a man to physically mishandle his wife, but a majority (68%) say domestic violence should be treated as a private matter to be resolved within the family rather than as a criminal matter requiring law enforcement to get involved.
While most Nigerians think the police take GBV cases seriously, many also consider it likely that a woman reporting an incident of GBV will be criticized, harassed, or shamed.
- Gender-based violence (GBV) ranks third among the most important women’s-rights issues that Nigerians want their government and society to address. (Figure 1).
- A majority (58%) of citizens say violence against women is “not very common” or “not at all common” in their community, but 41% – and 45% of women – disagree. (Figure 2).
- About eight in 10 Nigerians (79%) say it is “never justified” for a man to physically discipline his wife. (Figure 3).
- Almost half (47%) of respondents consider it “somewhat likely” (28%) or “very likely” (19%) that a woman will be criticized, harassed, or shamed if she reports an incident of GBV to the authorities. Far fewer (24%) say this is “very unlikely.” (Figure 4).
- But most respondents (79%) believe that the police are likely to take cases of GBV seriously. (Figure 5).
- More than two-thirds (68%) of Nigerians say domestic violence should be treated as a private matter to be resolved within the family rather than as a criminal matter that involves law enforcement agencies. (Figure 6).
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, nonpartisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life. Eight rounds of surveys have been completed in up to 39 countries since 1999. Round 9 surveys (2021/2022) are currently underway. Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice.
The Afrobarometer team in Nigeria, led by NOIPolls, interviewed a nationally representative, random, stratified probability sample of 1,600 adult Nigerians between 5 and 31 March 2022. A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-2.5 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. Previous standard surveys were conducted in Nigeria in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2020.
Figure 1: Most important women’s rights issue | by gender | Nigeria |2022
Respondents were asked: In your opinion, which of the following issues related to women’s rights and equality do you think is the most important for our government and society to address?
Figure 2: Frequency of GBV | Nigeria | 2022
Respondents were asked: In this area, how common do you think it is for men to use violence against women and girls in the home or the community?
Figure 3: Is it justified for men to physically discipline their wives? | Nigeria | 2022
Respondents were asked: For each of the following actions, please tell me whether you think it can always be justified, sometimes be justified, or never be justified: For a man to use physical discipline on his wife if she has done something he doesn’t like or thinks is wrong?
Figure 4: Will a woman be criticized, harassed, or shamed for reporting GBV? | by gender | Nigeria | 2022
Respondents were asked: If a woman in your community goes to the police to report being a victim of gender-based violence, for example, to report a rape or report being physically abused by her husband, how likely or unlikely is it that the following things might occur: She will be criticized, harassed, or shamed by others in the community?
Figure 5: Do police take GBV cases seriously? | Nigeria | 2022
Respondents were asked: If a woman in your community goes to the police to report being a victim of gender-based violence, for example, to report a rape or report being physically abused by her husband, how likely or unlikely is it that the following things might occur: Her case will be taken seriously by the police?
Figure 6: Is domestic violence a criminal or private matter? | Nigeria | 2022
Respondents were asked: Which of the following statements is closest to your view?
Statement 1: Domestic violence is a private matter that needs to be handled and resolved within the family.
Statement 2: Domestic violence is a criminal matter whose full resolution requires the involvement of law enforcement agencies.
(% who “agree” or “strongly agree” with each statement)
For more information, please contact:
Telephone: +234 63292096
Visit us online at:
www.National Partner’s Web site.org
Follow our releases on #VoicesAfrica.