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Understanding Gender-based Violence: Evidence from Kilimanjaro Assessment of Rombo and Moshi Rural

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Abstract:

This paper presents findings from an empirical study on the prevalence and beliefs surrounding gender-based violence (GBV) in the Kilimanjaro region. The analysis and ensuing discussion is the result of a representative sample of adults (n=384) surveyed in two districts, Rombo and Moshi Rural, in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. In contrast to previous research of a similar nature, which has focused primarily on the frequency of violence, this study devotes significant attention discerning the level of social acceptability among its victims and perpetrators situated in a legal and cultural framework. I find that alcohol consumption and the number of deceased children within a household have a direct correlation to incidences of GBV while an individual’s level of education and degree of financial independence are inversely related to rates of violence. The influence of bride price and polygamy is inconclusive. Finally, I find that although a portion of the population believes women should have decision-making capabilities, patriarchal institutions and a culture that relegates women as inferior have a significant impact on individual attitudes among men and women to preserve the status quo. These results suggest a greater need to promote a culture of egalitarianism in a sensitive and relevant manner.

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