Chapter 23: Femicide in Sub-Saharan Africa

Book Publication


Femicide is one of the leading causes of premature death in sub-Saharan Africa, but scholarly work on this topic remains limited. A systematic search of bibliographic databases, such as Scopus, Google scholar, Web of science, and grey literature resulted in the inclusion of 21  scholarly articles on femicide. The studies were conducted in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, and Zambia. Results indicate femicide, particularly intimate partner femicide (IPF), is common in sub-Saharan Africa. We found suspicion of infidelity, jealousy, and sexual rejection were major factors leading to the majority of IPF incidences. Guns played a significant role as well. Meanwhile, the media framed femicide as isolated events and not a systematic problem. Cultural norms and beliefs associated with masculinity were important correlates of femicide  Additionally, witchcraft femicide was common. Accusations of witchcraft were a handy pretext for the ruthless treatment of impoverished and marginalised elderly women. It is important to increase investment in violence prevention, enhance risk assessments at various points of care, assist women facing intimate partner violence, and place restrictions on gun ownership for those with a history of violence. Improvements in data collection and management are critical defence resources as well.

External Authors

Eric Y. Tenkorang





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