Bride Price (Lobola) and Gender-based Violence among Married Women in Lusaka

Moono, Patience, Thankian, Kusanthan, Menon, Gaurav Binod orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8936-9813, Mwaba, Sidney O. C and Menon, J. Anitha (2020) Bride Price (Lobola) and Gender-based Violence among Married Women in Lusaka. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, 33 (8). pp. 38-47. ISSN 2456-981X

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Background: This study investigated the influence of lobola, a payment made for marriage, on gender-based violence among married women in Lusaka’s Kamanga compound. Specifically, the study sought to establish how married women and men perceived lobola in relation to gender-based violence in marriage.

Method: The study used the qualitative research method. Participants in the study included eighteen married women and men. In addition, in-depth interviews using a semi-structured interview guide were conducted with five key informants.

Results: The findings from the study suggest that paying lobola translated into buying a wife and as such, a wife became a husband’s property. Lobola gave the man or husband powers to treat his wife as he wished, including subjecting her to sexual and other forms of abuse. This seems to take away a wife’s rights to make decisions on matters that affected her own life such as being restricted in her movements, in choosing what to wear, and depriving her of a claim over her children among others.

Conclusion: The study recommends that the Ministries of Justice and Gender and the Local Government should look deeply into the issue of paying lobola and correct the practice by deterring or reprimanding those who do adhere to its significance. Civil society should also lobby government to enact appropriate laws and policies to deal with patriarchy and help married women to enjoy their rights as human beings.

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