The final report of the Ghana Multiple Cluster Survey (MICS) 2006 has revealed that a higher percentage of women said wife beating was justified.
The survey indicated that 47 per cent of women between 15 to 49 years believed that a husband is justified in beating his wife. “This belief is held among a higher proportion of women in rural areas (57%) than urban areas (36%)”, Professor N.N.N. Nsowah-Nuamah, Deputy Government Statistician said at the launching in Accra on Wednesday.
Describing the situation as “very surprising”, Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah said on the other hand, 36 per cent of men believed wife beating was justified. The belief is also held among a higher proportion of men in rural areas (44%) than those in urban areas. The MIC is an international household survey initiative developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring human development in general and the situation of Children and women in particular.
Prof. Nsowah-Nuamah said MIC survey data was focussed on determining whether Ghana was on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He said in Ghana, government had taken full responsibility for the fine-tuning and implementation of the MICS Survey that has been implemented every five years since 1995 through the combined effort of the Ministry of Health and Ghana Statistical Services (GSS), with Macro International, USAID and the Dutch Embassy providing support. The report, which covered a total of 5,939 households in rural and urban areas across the country, considered key parameters like nutrition, immunization, use of mosquito nets, household use of adequately iodized salt, access to improved water resources and sanitation.
Other issues covered also included the use of contraception, school attendance and education gender parity, violence against children and domestic violence and perception and knowledge of HIV/AIDS. The report indicated that acceptance of domestic violence was highest in the Upper West region (76%) and lowest in Greater Accra region (28%) while 34 per cent of children five to 14 years were engaged in child labour with 48 per cent of them coming from poorest quintiles. Major Courage Quarshigah (Rtd), Health Minister said commended UNICEF and other partners for conducting the survey and coming out with such important data, which fell in line with the Ministry’s five year programme of work.
He recommended that all presidential aspirants should be given copies of the report “for them to tell the masses how they would tackle those issues”.
Dr Yasmin Hague, UNICEF Country Representative said despite the serious issues revealed by the survey, some of the highlights were very positive in that more than three quarters of all children between 12 and 23 months had received the appropriate immunizations as well as more than three quarters of the population had access to improved sources of drinking water.
She said more than 90 per cent of pregnant women aged 15-49 years have received medical care at least once from skilled provider and 52 per cent of children aged 36 to 59 were attending pre-school. Gender parity at both the primary and Junior High School levels have almost been established with nearly the same number of girls attending school as boys.
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