Communication as factor in the perpetration and prevention of domestic violence against women among the Bemba people of Mwamba's village in Kasama District
Mupeta, Chongo Alfred
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This dissertation is entitled ‘Communication as a factor in the perpetration and prevention of domestic violence against women among the Bemba people of Mwamba’s Village in Kasama District.’ The scourge of domestic violence against women in Zambia has reached alarming proportions and calls for the attention of all stakeholders. Some victims of domestic violence end up being traumatized, maimed or dying thereby compromising the survival and psychological development of their children.This study was aimed at investigating whether Bemba communication culture is a contributing factor to domestic violence against women and at finding out how the same Bemba communication culture can be used to fight this scourge. A snap shot survey design was adopted in this research; employing the triangulation approach to data collection and analysis. The qualitative data gathering methods included the review of secondary data on the topic as well as five in-depth interviews and four focus group discussions. As regards the quantitative methods of data collection, there was community mapping and a questionnaire which was administered to 90 members of the community. The research participants were chosen by purposive as well as cluster sampling. The quantitative data obtained from the field research was processed into tables and charts by means of Microsoft excel while the qualitative data was summarised and arranged into themes. The study found out that women have lost the high status that they enjoyed in Bemba society. The Bemba communication system is now dominated by men and the cultural messages favour men rather than women. Although the people of Mwamba’s Village perceive domestic violence against women as an issue and are aware of the gender imbalances present in their communication culture, they believe that their culture fights against domestic violence against women rather than contributes to the problem. The researcher’s conclusion is that Bemba communication culture is a driver of domestic violence against women. Since this is a communication issue, behaviour change campaigns would help to address domestic violence against women. Nevertheless, this approach has to be combined with social change communication and advocacy communication. The researcher, therefore, recommends that the powerful Bemba communication media and channels be employed for an effective and efficient response to the problem.He is calling on government organslike the presidency, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Ministry of Gender, the courts of law and the police to work closely with NGOs, the media, the Church and traditional leadership in order to come up with culturally embedded communication programs to fight domestic violence against women in Zambia.