For a Safe World for Women

Thursday, 31 May 2012 16:42

 

 

"For a Safe World for Women"

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

 

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 is an appropriate occasion to think well of various forms of violence from which women suffer. In addition, it is an opportunity to urge officials to take all actions and measures for the eradication and elimination of the phenomenon of violence against women, as women are still the principal victims of human rights violations, both at the global and national levels. 

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination of against Women CEDAW, ratified by Egypt on 1993, has defined violence as (any act of gender-based violence resulting or likely to result in harm or physical, sexual or psychological suffering for women, including threats of committing such acts, or coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private life). 

Domestic violence is the most commons forms of violence against women in Egypt. According to a report issued by UNICEF in 2002, 35% of Egyptian women had been beaten by their husbands at least once since their marriage. 

An Egyptian study on population and development published in 2002 revealed that 47% of all murders in which victims are of women are "honor killings", as the woman's relatives kill her for the suspicion that her sexual conduct is an inappropriate or unacceptable to preserve the family honor of the stigma. 

A study issued by the National Council for Population has proved that 69.1% of wives are beaten in case that they refused to make love with their husbands and 69.1% are beaten in case that they answered their husbands in a manner that does not please him. In addition, the study proves that rural women are exposed to beating more than urban women. 

The harmful traditional practices are considered a form of violence being practiced within the Egyptian society a long time ago up till they are regarded as a part of its culture. Such violations include female genital mutilation, which may lead to death, disability and damage to physical and mental health of millions of Egyptian women every year. This problem affects approximately 96 % of Egyptian women and girls as Egypt occupies a very advanced position in the prevalence of this practice according to World Health Organization reports. This bad and harmful practice is being practiced in spite of the provisions of the Egyptian Child Law and the Penal Code that criminalize female genital mutilation. 

Despite the ratification of the Egyptian government to CEDAW, relevant domestic legislations are still incompetent with those conventions and furthermore many laws are out of practice. Discrimination against women extends to the Penal Code that may be because of the legal texts itself or application, as well as the existence of some texts that do not seek women interests, for example the penalty for adultery against women is totally different than men. 

Moreover, law No. 10 of 1961 on combating prostitution includes many discriminatory points against women, as the practical reality considers woman only the offender and her partner, man, is just a proof witness although the crime can not be committed without him. 

The same applies to those texts that do not defend the interests of women, for example the law does not penalize the attempt to the abortion of a pregnant woman. 

Cairo Center for Development CCD congratulates women for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and apologizes to them all for abuses occurred against them by society. Finally, CCD calls all women in this day to continue their way in the performance of their role in society. 

 

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