When I was at University one of the core modules for my area of study Housing Management and development was DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE LAW. Domestic violence was considered in the context of property rights but for the purpose of this article I would like to look at the impact of domestic abuse on the economy.
A tall order perhaps but bear with me whilst I illustrate my point.
The fact about domestic abuse is that it ebbs away at the confidence and self esteem of the person at the receiving end of it. It makes them question their self worth making them ineffective in all areas of their lives. As a Housing Manager I saw numerous women who had fled their homes due to domestic violence, in some cases they had to abandon everything and everyone they know in order to escape their abusers.
Imagine if you will a woman who is responsible for ensuring that the family is fed, clothed and has to work the land to grow the food to feed the family but is beaten or abused by her spouse on a daily basis!
In some cases she is indeed the sole bread-winner in the family , in some cases this is because the man’s income is spent on alcohol or the man is has no income. If there is no income in the family this impacts the family well being amongst other things such as not being able to access health care.
What sort of life would children growing up in such a household have to look forward to?
It is widely accepted well at least in the case of African countries that the economic development of these countries rests with women. That being the case what would happen if women are ordinarily unable to participate in income generating activities due to domestic abuse?
Does society owe such women the duty of care to secure the economic development of a county? What form should that care take?
How are African countries dealing with the issue of Domestic Violence? Are there facilities to support women fleeing domestic violence?
Is Africa ready for such facilities? Would women have the courage to seek support and refuge in such a facility?
What will their peers make of it?
Please share your views