Community perceptions of traditional marriage counselling in Lusaka District
Simbotwe, Viictoria Mwaka
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In Zambia today, marriage can be perceived to be a union of man and woman and this means the two families unite to become one bigger family. However, despite traditional marriage counselling taking a leading role in resolving marital problems in marriages, most communities have a different perception of the counselling services that are being offered. The purpose of this study was to determine community perceptions of traditional marriage counselling in Lusaka District. The study was guided by the following objectives, to: determine community perceptions of traditional marriage counselling; establish approaches used by community members to access traditional marriage counsellors; determine challenges faced by traditional marriage counsellors; and identify possible solutions to challenges faced by traditional marriage counsellors. The study adopted a case study design which used a qualitative approach in data collection. The target population comprised thirty (30) traditional marriage counsellors, twenty (20) women and men (couples) and ten (10) court clerks, bringing the total to sixty (60). Traditional marriage counsellors were selected using a snow ball sampling procedure while purposive sampling was used to sample court clerks, men and women (couples). Interview guides were used to collect data from traditional marriage counsellors, court clerks, men and women (couples). The research study gathered qualitative data only which was analyzed thematically by organizing common themes or patterns that emerged from the responses from the participants so that appropriate conclusions could be made. The study found out that couple’s understanding of each other, openness and ownership of the marriage through knowledge gained by way of traditional marriage counselling assisted in preventing divorce intentions. It was found that traditional marriage counsellors were accessed through individuals found within the community, family set up, members of the clergy and elderly members of the family who had experience regarding marriage. The study established that traditional marriage counselling services would not be accessed by couples due to distance, family interference, Western Education and Western Culture and negative attitudes by members of the public. The study noted that most churches perceived traditional marriage counselling as being demonic. Financial challenges faced by couples also hindered them from accessing traditional marriage counselling, since these counselling services were chargeable. The study recommended that : i) government through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare should create public awareness to sensitize couples on the importance of undergoing traditional marriage counselling ; (ii) government should make amendments to the Zambian Matrimonial Act to include a clause that protects traditional marriage counsellors; (iii) there should be creation of partnerships between Government through the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and the Alangizi National Association of Zambia to ensure that all traditional marriage counsellors are registered with the association so that couples in remote areas acquire marriage counselling services as well.
University of Zambia
Master of Education in Adult Education
- Education