Violent Discipline in the Middle East and North Africa Region

A statistical analysis of household survey data - January 2019

a boy looking over a town from a rooftop


The report includes household survey data from 12 countries in MENA, which were publicly available. Most of these (8 out of 12) surveys were part of UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) programme which supports countries in generating statistically sound and internationally comparable data on the situation of children and women. The combined dataset represents 85 million children or 70 per cent of the child population aged 2-14 in the MENA region. The report covers the largest dataset available to date on violent discipline practices in MENA.

The findings show that the prevalence rate of violent discipline is 84 per cent across the countries included in the analysis, with substantial national and sub-national variations. The report confirms some of the findings from other regions. However, there are a number of interesting findings for which no comparative data exist. For example, on a global level, overall development and income are negatively associated with the prevalence of violent discipline but for MENA countries we found no evidence for this association.

The report concludes with a set of recommendations for strengthening advocacy and programming to end violent discipline at home.

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