Experiences of intimate partner violence in child marriages in Ghana

Amoah, Harriet Afrakomah (2019) Experiences of intimate partner violence in child marriages in Ghana. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Globally, over 60 million girls marry before the age of 18. The adverse health and social effects of child marriage are numerous; early marriage denies girls the right to enjoy their childhood and adolescence, creates gender inequality in education, negatively affects employment opportunities, and restricts the freedom to make decisions on psychosocial/ emotional well-being. More recent research, mostly quantitative, shows the increased risk of IPV among women who marry before 18 years of age. However, there is a dearth of research on the factors that predispose this group of women to IPV, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa which houses a large percentage of the world’s child brides. Similarly, the IPV literature mostly explores IPV experiences among women in the general population, paying little attention to the unique experiences of “child brides.” Using 15 semi-structured, qualitative, in-depth interviews, I probe the lived experience, context, narratives, and subjective meanings Ghanaian women who marry as children give to child marriage and IPV, and the factors which according to these women, contribute to their IPV experiences. The women in my study come from the Bawku West district in the Upper East region of Ghana. Most say they have experienced physical, emotional, sexual, and economic abuse from their intimate partners. They are economically dependent on their partners and/or have insufficient autonomy to either refuse sex or make decisions because of the wide age gap. Some also identify issues such as polygamy and cultural beliefs and practices as contributing factors. This study demonstrates the need to raise awareness among Ghanaians on the detrimental effect of child marriage and to enact policies/law against the practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14174
Item ID: 14174
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 84-97).
Keywords: intimate partner violence; women; child marriage; Ghana; qualitative studies
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Gender Studies
Date: 1 August 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Intimate partner violence--Ghana; Child marriage--Ghana.

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