Gender Violence in Africa Term Paper Sample

Gender violence is a complicated issue. Consequently, this term paper sample touches on the delicate issue of gender violence.  Today gender violence is a common occurrence.

Take Africa for instance, gender violence is much more popular and common.

But the causes of gender violence in Africa are even more interesting. Some African women feel loved when men are violent against them.

As interesting as that may sound, it’s important to address the issue from the perspective of different researchers. In fact, you will note that even though gender violence is common among women, men are equally subjected to violence. Believe it or not, in the term paper below we noted that in 1 out of 5 participants in a study on gender violence was a man?

Sad, right?

Yet these numbers keep on increasing by the day. In the past year, Police in the US has received more than 10, 000 calls from men asking to be rescued.  The violence is common in urban areas than in rural areas.

I know what you are thinking. How can a man be beaten by a woman?

Do not be surprised by this argument because the facts are laid on the table.

Gender violence

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So let’s get to it and clear the air with a sample term paper on gender violence in Africa. Our selection of Africa regarding this issue is because Africa records the highest rate of gender violence in the world than any other region.  While we may blame the culture for this, stick around and you will be surprised by other reasons explaining the increasing gender violence

Gender violence is not a new thing in this time and era. People have been living with it every day; some openly and others secretly. In fact, some places the society take it as a key governing factor on how people interact. However, the objective scholars will often question the legitimacy of gender violence as a normal problem. Some of the questions that may arise include; is it not really a problem? Has it not left families broken and children motherless? Consequently, it would serve a stable purpose to address the issue of gender violence with a specific focus on Africa while analyzing its causes and implications.

The idea is to explore the extent to which gender violence is seen as a problem in Africa by considering the viewpoints of various secondary sources. It is interesting to know that in the mid-1800s, gender violence was viewed as a normal occurrence regarding the husband-wife interaction. Culture and unbiased theories are the basic foundation of how gender violence has evolved over time.

In the course of its development, concerns about its causes and implications continue to rise. In fact, it has triggered terrific research with artists creating paintings to represent the issue of gender violence.  Vis-à-vis Africa, this problem has spread like world fire from the 20th century to the 21st century. Even with the hope that the problem is no more, both men and women are suffering behind closed doors for the fear of society’s mockery.  Gender violence as defined by the Macmillan dictionary is, “violence against women, especially in the home by a partner (2017).” This definition is explicit on what gender violence entails. However, it is interesting to note that while this definition is somewhat right, in some cases it may be biased since gender violence does not only concern women. Ideally, men are also subject to gender violence.  However, many scholars agree that gender violence, especially in Africa, is 99 percent on women and less than 1 percent is on men.  In fact, a report done by the Concerned African Scholars noted that over two-thirds of adolescents in Africa reported having experience in forced sexual initiation (Braig & Maoulidi, et al, 2016).  In agreement with the observations made herein, the report notes that violence against men and boys continue yet they are never reported.  The report further notes that 5 to 10 % of African men confessed to having experienced sexual violence. Nonetheless, 3% of the males agreed that their violence came from other males, but only 2 % agreed to have been abused by women.  Sexual violence is the highest form of gender violence spreads across all industries from hospitals, schools to homes. With a particular focus on South Africa, the report noted that 3 out of 5 men had raped a woman or a girl. It is quite saddening, yet all these issues are rarely reported. Women seem to have created a stereotype around the issue of gender violence and only a few agree to come out in public and say that they were violated.

Moreover, an article written by Voysey-Braig & Maoulidi, et al, (2009), narrates an experience where a girl was sexually molested. She was kidnapped and then she was forced to have sex with men whenever they want, however they want sometimes even inserting broken bottles between her legs. The men as painted by this article are clueless. And like many other men in Africa, the woman is seen as an object of sex.  In Zanzibar especially, the public had observed the rate at which gender violence was increasing which led to the creation of the Sexual Offenses Act of 1998.  And while it is indeed true that women were violated a lot in Zanzibar, the act gained momentum only after raising the issue of children. This is to show that in Africa, the law does less to prevent gender violence. Before the Sexual Offenses Act of 1998 was passed, many cases of gender violence had been dismissed because of the society’s attitude.

In fact, a bigger part of Africa does not see gender violence as a problem.  In another research done Teitelman & Jemmott III, et al (2016), the authors noted that partner violence led to low relationship power. The article notes that situations increase the risks of sexual violence.  In the article, the author sought to examine whether the Intimate Partner violence (IPV) relate to the increased risk of sexually transmitted infections among different genders.  It noted that when women have violent partners they are often scared to ask them to use condoms during sex because it may cause violent reactions (Teitelman & Jemmott III, et al, 2016).  In fact, the article noted that sexual coercion and power inequities were particularly high in South Africa especially among the adolescent girls.  While the problem of low relationship power differs among males and females, it is important to note that girls associated it with high risks of HIV.  Ideally, the society should promote healthy relationships to reduce the likelihood of partners spreading HIV.

Another report authored by Dunkle, et al (2004), noted that gender-based violence and gender inequalities are considered as important factors for accessing women HIV risks.   In its cross-sectional study of about 1500 women, it noted that child sexual harassment forced first intercourse and sexual assault by an adult partner were among the highest causes of HIV.  In fact, when researching about the occurrence of HIV in Africa, researchers have often used gender-based violence as their foundation.  In order to understand the role of culture in the occurrence of gender violence and the resulting HIV risk, Kyla & Wendee sought out to study the South African environment.  They choose South Africa because there is a large proportion of both blacks and the people of color.  In its findings, the article notes that black men resulted in drinking and using cannabis and when they are intoxicated they would engage in sex with multiple partners. Nonetheless, the people of color reported to use the same drugs, but force sex on a woman as a group. Interestingly, the same report noted that more than 70% of families or marriages in South Africa are built on sexual violence.  Besides, more than 70% of men both black men and men of color agreed that gender violence is a common thing.   Most of the women when beaten do not tell their friends as they want to protect the image of their husbands.  Specific focus also went on to look into why this problem is happening, yet people do not prevent it. However, from various participants, the report noted that many people avoid being involved in gender violence as they do not want to be accused of sleeping with the victim.

To understand the issue of gender violence in Africa, it is important to consider the various theories surrounding it. One particular theory makes its argument in the contemporary Neo-Darwinism.   Neo Darwinism as described by is the “theory of evolution holding that natural selection accounts for evolution and denying the inheritance of some characters (2017). In this context, many people in Africa believe that the males are naturally aggressive in order to maintain and secure the females from competitors (Devaney & Lazenbatt, 2016).  Therefore, violence is seen as a retention method for the males.  And while there is little evidence to explain or rather justify this idea, this is a theory that spread not only in Africa but in other parts of the world as well.  The other theory surrounding gender violence is the women blaming theory which rely on the predictable gender roles. Supporters of this theory say that the resulting violence is a response when one gender especially the woman declined to do what they are supposed to do (Levy & Ben-David, 2015). Their belief is that there are times when the woman needs to be punished even if not through beatings which therefore indicate the increased attachment to the culture surrounding the issue of gender violence

From the given evidence it is reasonable to presume that gender violence in Africa is highly accepted and justified per the given theories. In fact, gender violence in Africa is the cause of HIV and many sexually transmitted infections.  Research shows that in 2015, 56 percent of those with new infections in sub-Saharan Africa were women who are victims of gender violence. In the same report, it noted that in North Africa women made 40% of the newly infected people with young women making up over 50% (Alesina, Brioschi & Ferrara, 2016). Most of this women reported getting infected by violent male partners.  In fact, the highest trigger for HIV as noted was the gender violence. It is important to note that Africa is a little bit behind in terms of development. Most of its citizens are somewhat cringed to their culture and in order to part with their past cultures, much need to be done.  Even more, it is important to note that many of the men who engaged in violence believe it was right to do so out of their cultural beliefs.  In fact, some women believe that it is never right until a woman is beaten. Some say that they feel loved only when they are beaten which is actually funny and surprising.

In short, gender violence continues to ail not only Africa but other parts of the world. With the most common type of gender violence being sexual and in some case, physical, it is increasingly becoming a huge problem.   Many of the men who engage in gender violence justify their action through the weak theories of Neo-Darwinism and men pathologies. Besides, they also argue on the concept of culture and socially accepted behavior. However, gender violence is cited to increase the risk of getting HIV, especially for women.


Dunkle, K. L., Jewkes, R. K., Brown, H. C., Gray, G. E., McIntryre, J. A., & Harlow, S. D. (2004). Gender-based     violence, relationship power, and risk of HIV infection in women attending antenatal clinics in South Africa. The lancet, 363(9419), 1415-1421.

Sawyer-Kurian, K. M., Wechsberg, W. M., & Luseno, W. K. (2009). Exploring the differences and similarities between black/African and coloured men regarding violence against women, substance abuse, and HIV risks in Cape Town, South Africa. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 10(1), 13

Voysey-Braig, M., Maoulidi, S., Azubuike, C., Leigh, S., Njogu, A., McHardy, M., … & Gear, S. (2009). Sexual and gender based violence in Africa. D. Moshenberg (Ed.). Association of Concerned Africa Scholars.

Teitelman, A. M., Jemmott III, J. B., Bellamy, S. L., Icard, L. D., O’Leary, A., Heeren, G. A., … & Ratcliffe, S. J. (2016). Partner Violence, Power, and Gender Differences in South African Adolescents’ HIV/Sexually Transmitted Infections Risk Behaviors.

. Alesina, A., Brioschi, B., & Ferrara, E. L. (2016). Violence against women: A cross-cultural analysis for Africa (No. w21901). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Devaney, J., & Lazenbatt, A. (2016). Domestic Violence Perpetrators: Evidence-Informed Responses. Routledge.

Levy, I., & Ben-David, S. (2015). Mechanism of Bystander-Blaming Defensive Attribution, Counterfactual Thinking, and Gender. International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology, 59(1), 96-113.

Gaylord-Harden, N. K., So, S., Bai, G. J., Henry, D. B., & Tolan, P. H. (2016). Examining the pathologic adaptation model of community violence exposure in male adolescents of color. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 1-11.

Neo-Darwinism | Define Neo-Darwinism at Dictionary. (n.d.). In Dictionary. Retrieved from

Gender violence definition and synonyms | Macmillan Dictionary. (n.d.). In Macmillan Dictionary | Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus Online. Retrieved from

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