Traditional marriage counselling in Zambia: Exploring the views of stakeholders in Kabwe Urban, central province
F Namonje F, Dr. JM Mandyata
The purpose of the study was to investigate the views of stakeholders on the influence of traditional marriage counselling among couples in Kabwe urban in central province in Zambia. The study sought to establish views on level of awareness on existence of traditional marriage counselling services; factors that might have contributed to the rise in incidences of divorce and participants’ views on traditional marriage counselling as a strategy for reducing rate of divorce. A descriptive survey design was used. A mixture of quantitative and qualitative techniques were used in the collection of data. The qualitative techniques involved use of interview and Focused Group Discussion guides while, quantitative data was collected through use of questionnaires. The sample comprised 99 participants. The findings revealed that majority of the participants were aware of the existence of traditional counselling services and felt that such services had the potential of providing viable knowledge and information on marriages. It was however evident from the views of participants that there were social factors that had led to high rate of divorces despite availability of traditional marriage counselling ranged from; male dominated social structure; infidelity and unfaithfulness; intrusion of the in-laws; communication breakdown and spouse; lack of respect for each other. The participants further felt that socio-economic factors such as unemployment; drunkenness; husband taking way family earnings to other women; wives earning more than husbands, had led to increased rate of divorce despite the existence of traditional counselling. With regards to participants’ views on traditional counselling being a strategy for reducing rate of divorce, some of them felt that; traditional counsellors were not trained to provide formidable counselling services in a multicultural set up such as urban areas. On the whole, the study revealed that traditional counselling although had the potential of sustaining marriages and could help to reduce rate of divorce, it did not have significant influence on marriage couples in urbanized social environment. The study recommended organizations such as Ministry of Gender; Zambia Police Victim Support Unit; legal fraternity; churches and Alangizi Association of Zambia (Traditional Marriage Counselling Association) to work together in order to reduce the rate of divorce among married couples in the study area.