BACKGROUND: Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) against women is a major public health and human rights problem
worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has one of the highest prevalence of IPV against women in the world. This study
used meta-analysis to obtain pooled rural–urban and education attainment differences in the prevalence of IPV
among ever-partnered women in SSA, and assessed whether the differences in IPV depended on the SSA region or
period or women’s age.
METHODS: We analysed IPV data on 233,585 ever-partnered women aged 15–49 years from 44 demographic and
health surveys conducted between 2000 and 2018 in 29 SSA countries. Random-effects meta-analyses were used to
estimate overall rural–urban residence and educational differences in IPV rates among the women in SSA. Subgroup
analyses were also done to investigate the sources of heterogeneity in the overall meta-analysis findings.
RESULTS: The pooled prevalence of intimate partner violence was estimated to be 41.3% (37.4–45.2%). Regionally, the
highest prevalence of IPV was in Middle Africa (49. 3%; 40.32–58.45), followed by East Africa (44.13%; 36.62–51.67),
Southern Africa (39.36%; 34.23–44.49), and West Africa (34.30%; 27.38–41.22). The risks of experiencing IPV were
significantly higher if the women had less than secondary education (RR=1.12; 95% CI 1.07–1.22) compared to those
with at least a secondary education. Generally, women who resided in a rural area had their risks of experiencing IPV
increased (RR=1.02; CI 0.96–1.06) compared to those who resided in urban areas, but the IPV increases were only
significant in East Africa (RR=1.13; CI 1.07–1.22).
CONCLUSION: In sub-Saharan Africa, intimate partner violence against women is widespread, but the levels are much
higher among women with lower levels of education and residing in rural areas. Our findings have provided additional support to policies aimed at achieving SDG goals on the elimination of all forms of violence against women
and girls in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, policies that advocate improved educational attainment, especially
among women and communities in rural areas.
Additional file 1: Figure A1: Prevalence of any IPV among women aged
15–49 years according to women’s residence type in each country and
year. Figure A2: Prevalence of any IPV among women aged 15–49 years
according to women’s level of education in each country and year.
Additional file 2: Figure B1: Prevalence of any IPV among women aged
15–24 years in each country and year by region of Africa. Figure B2: Prevalence of any IPV among women aged 25–49 years in each country and
year by region of Africa. Figure B3: Prevalence of any IPV among women
aged 15–24 years in each country and year by the period of DHS survey.
Figure B4: Prevalence of any IPV among women aged 25–49 years in each
country and year by the period of DHS survey