"Codified" Violence against Women "Law Draft Proposal to Criminalize Violence against Women and Protect them"

Thursday, 06 April 2017 11:30

Cairo Center for Development and Law held today a press conference to launch the study "Codified violence against women: law draft proposal to criminalize violence against women and protect them", prepared by the human rights lawyer Mr. Sayed Abo El Ala.The researcher presented the study then discussed it with the attendees. The study reviews the international and Egyptian legal frameworks that provide protection for women against violence. In addition, it measures how much the Egyptian legislation is convenient with the international conventions in such matter. The study makes use of the results and outcomes of the discussion sessions held by Cairo Center for Development and Law with specialists, the concerned and female survivors of violence to come out with Egyptian law draft combatting violence against women.    


There are many forms of violence against women which they face from their childhood, increasing in their adulthood till their aging. In many cases, violence is practiced by man against woman as being a husband or a father, in addition to men violence in streets and workplaces.


Violence forms against women vary from single violence which is the direct one whether by hand, action or verbal violence, and the collective violence practiced by group of people due to racial, sectarian or cultural causes and the official violence towards weak or marginalized social categories.


On legal level, although there are some texts that provide legal protection for women, especially as most legislations in Egypt equal men and women in rights and duties, yet there is discrimination on level of legal text in some Egyptian legislations. Also there is discrimination against women on the level of law application, in addition to lack of laws regarding protecting women from violence which state protection procedures and lack of laws that protect women from domestic violence; the phenomenon that is widespread and protected by the Egyptian laws and is not combatted. So still there are many discrimination forms because of the gap between law and its application resulted from social and cultural factors related to low position of women in society, as a result of lack of legal awareness among women and domination of retroactive traditions and customs over relationships in society.


The study focuses on all forms of violence against women in general and on domestic violence in particular. The study highlights that domestic violence is yielded by the misuse of power towards the weakest party inside one family. The domestic violence is the most common violence form whose victims mostly are women and children inside one family. Moreover, it is an accepted and prevailed practice in different categories in society.


In its preliminary chapter, the study tackles what is meant by violence against women, what is domestic violence, forms and kinds of violence (physical, psychological, sexual). In addition, this preliminary part sheds light on numbers of figures and statistics regarding phenomenon of violence against women, in addition to the results of violence and its negative impacts on women, children, family and family and how much is the economic cost of violence phenomenon.


The first chapter of the study collects all the international conventions that state human rights of women and the protection of women against violence and discrimination in accessing their rights. Then the chapter mentions the most important articles in CEDAW Convention regarding combating all forms of discrimination against women. CEDAW Convention states precautionary procedures that must be taken by state members in the convention (Egypt is one of them) in the field of protecting women against violence and discrimination. Among such procedures is that the state should remove any discrimination against women in the national legislation and any discrimination on the level of law application and on the level women's access to their rights from the state institutions. In addition, the procedures oblige the states to establish social associations to be responsible of providing protection and care services to family, women and children. After that comes the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, issued by UN. This declaration defines violence against women in general and domestic violence, in addition to full explanation to all kinds and forms of violence and necessity of facing it. The declaration's texts - represent great development of international conventions in the field of combating violence against women – give definitions of violence and its crimes in law drafts formulated in this study.  


The second chapter is the axis of the study as it focuses on women's protection against violence in constitution and Egyptian laws and do such laws state the protection of women against women? Are they consistent with international conventions signed by Egypt? The first part of this chapter is dedicated to the articles of new Egyptian constitution regarding women as they represent marked development in stating equal rights for women and men in addition to women's protection. But still the constitution articles need to be applied through amending the Egyptian legislation in this regard. The second part of this chapter focuses on Egyptian penal code no. 57 of 1937 with reviewing all its texts related to women as it includes some sections that state women's protection against some kinds of violence. But the law lacks clear and comprehensive definitions of all kinds of violence, yet some of its articles reveal clear discrimination against women. In addition, some of its articles codify violence against women and provide protection for male committers based on their legitimate rights such as articles 7, 17, 60. Moreover, some of its articles lack providing enough protection for women and tackling the deterrent punishment against violence committers. In the third part of this chapter, the study focuses on problems that impede penal code to face violence against women in addition to the problems of practical application of penal code texts and some other laws that include discrimination against women such as multiple laws of personal status law; the matter which represents main obstacle in front of women to know it and access fair relations inside family. The child law no. 126 of 2008 comes to represent a remarkable development in the field of protection children should have inside family and society, in addition the law states some protection procedures for them, but it lacks defining the implementation means on ground. 


The third chapter of the study crystallizes our proposal after we studied the reality of violence in society and how much the Egyptian law protects women against violence. So we can come out with the gaps and failings in the current law that we try to avoid in the law drafts we formulated in this study.


This chapter presents comprehensive proposal for the Egyptian legislative framework that provides protection for women against violence in three laws:


-         Unified law for the Egyptian family states fair relations between men and women within one family. This law includes a section states the establishment of family, women and children protection centres which are new associations provide of protection services for women (legal – procedural – social – psychological – medical). These centres will be responsible of women's protection from violence. In addition, these centres work as human means suitable for privacy of women and such issues and to be away from police stations, prosecutions and courts. The proposal also includes texts relate to rehabilitation of violence committers and not only punishment, so that they will be rehabilitated to reintegrate in a society that provides safety and security for women and family. Our law draft requires these amendments to be witnessed by personal status laws especially family court law.


-         Amending the Egyptian penal code by adding new section regarding crimes of violence against women and children whether those happen within society or domestic violence, and including new definition for violence and its kinds and seriously criminalizing it. Also it proposes omitting all articles that includes discrimination against women in penal code and those protect violence committers.


-         Child law is the third one in the proposed legislative context in this study to which we add some amendments to be consistent with the two law drafts, whether on criminalization level or protection procedures.  


Here we reach the end of the study, what is remained is supporting all women issues defenders, supporters and all who concerned with combating violence against women within ongoing campaign to adopt these law drafts to be applied on ground to reach a secure and safe society for women.

To read and download the study, please click the following link:  


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