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 ineffective in all areas of their lives.
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 by her spouse on a daily basis!
In some cases she is indeed the sole bread-winner in the family as the man’s income is spent on alcohol! What sort of life would children growing up in such a household have to look forward too!
It is widely accepted well as 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 economic 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?
I am happy to note that in Nigeria steps are being taken to address the issue of domestic abuse. The idea is to provide some for of safe house for women and children fleeing domestic abuse. You can read the rest of the story here
The question is most African countries are so conservative, how will such a facility go down in society? Will women have the courage to seek support and refuge in such a facility?
What will their peers make of it?
My first job as a Social Housing practitioner saw me in charge of just such a facility here in the UK and it gave women new hope and a chance to rebuild their lives and those of their children.
I am therefore hopefully that this type of facility becomes common practice in African countries too.
As usual your points of view are welcome