Why women who are not financially independent are likely to face violence
Economic factors that make women vulnerable to gender based violence
This article discusses why women need to be financially independent in order to avoid gender based violence.Women should at all times try to be financially independent before they get into marriage because not doing so will make them vulnerable to gender based violence.
Economic factors contribute greatly to women’s vulnerability to gender based violence.Women are in most instances not financially endowed to take care of perpetual needs like payment of school,fees,rent,food,etc.This leads to their vulnerability as they will totally submit to their husbands without question.The men in turn take advantage of the situation to the extent of administering violence to the woman .
The above also be the reason why women prefer to keep quiet about their situations hence the confidence and courage of the husbands to continue doing the same.A number of women therefore are usually unable to take action against their violent husbands, or took action but withdrew charges against their husband because they are financially dependent on their husbands to a greater extent.
The economic dependency syndrome has also been reflected in a certain case in Nakuru where the magistrate had to discharge a batterer sentenced to serve three years in jail for battering his wife.The wife pleaded with the judge to release the husband since she could not cope to feed her children or pay school fees because the bread winner had been jailed and they were left suffering.
At an interview,the judge who had initially jailed the husband but freed him after pleas from the wife said:”The husband who was jailed was the soul breadwinner for his family; when he was jailed the woman was helpless,she did not have any source of income and could not afford to buy food or pay fees,she saw her suffering as having been caused by the court and aked for my intervention.I pitied the woman so I had to call for the file and I had to discharge him to prevent his family from suffering.”
For several women therefore, keeping the relationship despite the violence is more important for one practical reason and the reason is the financial support they derive from their husbands.Few women are economically indepednt and theiur pockts can allow them to manage comfortably without their husbands.
Most of the time it is more difficult for a battered wife who is wholly dependent on her husband financially to report her husband to the police or press charges against him effectively than it is for a woman who is economically independent.
Economic factors therefore make women vulnerable.This calls for urgent need for empowering women to have the ability to make their own decisions concerning the violence they are faced with.Women cannot obviously make rationale decisions because of lack of empowerment.They perceive themselves as helpless or powerless because they economically depend on their husbands fro support.There is therefore need to create awareness of their rights to enable them respond appropriately to the problems they face.
Women who are economically dependent ,as we saw earlier are less vulnerable.They are able to support themselves and children in case the husband is locked in or can decide to live on their own if violence becomes unbearable and also minimize unreasonable behavior from their husbands.
Magistrates have often admitted that women who withdrew cases are most of the time not economically independent while those that are economically independent let the cases proceed.
Economical hardship also contributes to fight in the family as the men who appear to be in control of finances,justify the beatings when they give out money and their wives do not use it properly and even want to control their wives own finances,when their wives are also in gainful employment.