Nigeria, Africa's largest nation with nearly 130 million people, has only two shelters for battered women, both opened in the last four years. The United States, by contrast, has about 1,200 such havens. Moreover, many women say wifely transgression justify beatings. About half of women interviewed in Zambia in 2001 and 2002 said husbands had a right to beat wives who argue with them, burn the dinner, go out without the husband's permission, neglect the children or refuse sex.American women have it better than those in any other country. They can disrespect their husbands and get away with it.
To Kenny Adebayo, a 30-year-old driver in Lagos, the issue is clear-cut. "If you tell your wife she puts too much salt in the dinner, and every day, every day, every day there is too much salt, one day you will get emotional and hurt her," he said. "We men in Africa hate disrespect."
Liza writes that this article shows what life is life for women in societies without strong enforcement of criminal laws against domestic violence and other legal protections for battered women. No, that is not the significant difference between USA and Africa.
Emily Read, a domestic violence lobbyist, writes to the NY Times:
"Entrenched Epidemic: Wife-Beatings in Africa" (front page, Aug. 11) reports that domestic violence is more entrenched and accepted in sub-Saharan Africa than in most other countries, and that "one in three Nigerian women reported having been physically abused by a male partner."There you have it. The DV lobby thinks that American women are just like sub-Saharan Africans.
Sadly, the same statistic holds true for the United States. According to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, reporting on a 1996 study by the American Psychological Association, "nearly 1 in 3 adult women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood."