Indicators of Violence Against Women Globally and Locally…and Women with Disabilities Suffer the most

Violence against women is one of the most discriminatory, cruel and widespread forms of violence worldwide, where gender-based violence is a form of violations that deprives women of their basic human rights, such as the right to life and the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel punishments or inhuman insults, which has put the physical and psychological integrity of women at stake.

Violence against women is a major obstacle to the realization of any plans for sustainable development, peace, justice and equality, as it has serious short-and long-term economic and social consequences and repercussions. Here we point out that the practices of violence against women are contrary to the fifth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, which seeks to achieve gender equality and enhance the status of women.

The strategic forum for public policies and Development Studies ” Draya” issues this report, which deals in detail with the reality of violence against women, its causes and consequences, in addition to the efforts of the Egyptian state to address it, and presented the most important recommendations aimed at eliminating this type of violence, through several axes, namely:

First: The concept of violence against women and its types.

Second: The causes of violence against women.

Third: The repercussions of violence against women.

Fourth: Indicators of violence against women globally and locally.

Fifth: The Egyptian state’s efforts to address violence against women.

Sixth: Proposals to reduce the violence against women.

First: The concept of violence against women and its types

The United Nations General Assembly has defined “violence against women” as “any assault against women based on gender, which causes physical, sexual or psychological harm or pain to women, and also includes the threat of such assault, pressure or arbitrary deprivation of freedom, whether it occurs in The framework of public or private life.

The United Nations has defined the types of violence against women as follows:

1- Domestic violence: It means any behavior adopted by a former partner that causes harm or suffering to the woman, whether physical, sexual, or psychological, including physical assault, sexual coercion, and psychological abuse.
2-sexual violence: it means any sexual act committed against the will of another person under duress (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual harassment, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber harassment)

3-human trafficking: it is the possession and exploitation of people by means such as force, fraud, coercion or deception. Millions of women and girls around the world suffer from it, many of whom are subjected to sexual exploitation.

4-female genital mutilation: it includes procedures that deliberately alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, usually driven by beliefs about sex and its relationship with appropriate sexual expression.

5- Child marriage: It refers to any marriage in which one or both spouses are under 18 years of age.

Second: causes of violence against women

Many factors have contributed to the existence of a favorable environment for the commission of violence against women, the most prominent of which are the following according to the World Health Organization and specialized scientific studies in this regard:

1-low levels of education and the resulting misconception of values and moral principles that prohibit violence, and influenced by negative stereotypes about violence.

2-previous exposure to violence, witnessing family violence and the spread of abusive customary practices in society and beliefs related to family honor and chastity, which creates a fertile environment for the consolidation of a culture of violence against women.

3-male control over social and economic decision-making and their monopoly on it in the presence of societal standards that give men privileges or raise their status and degrade the status of women.

4-the low paid job opportunities available to women, the lack of opportunities for women’s participation in society and their feeling of marginalization and not taking into account their needs.

Third: the repercussions of violence against women

Violence against women has wide-ranging effects at various levels, and the World Health Organization has classified these effects according to the following:

1- Fatal consequences such as murder or suicide

2- Possible injuries: 42% of women who are exposed to intimate partner violence report being injured as a result of this violence.

3- Unwanted pregnancies, induced abortions, women’s health problems, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection.

4-depression: women who have been subjected to violence may develop depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety-causing disorders, suffering from sleep difficulties, eating disorders, and suicide attempts.

5-headaches, pain syndromes (back pain, abdominal pain, chronic pelvic pain), stomach and intestinal disorders, limited mobility and ill health in general.

6-sexual violence, especially during childhood, may lead to an increased likelihood of smoking, substance abuse, alcohol, and risky sexual behaviors, and is also associated with committing violence (for males) and becoming a victim of violence (for females)

Fourth: Indicators of violence against women globally and locally

-A third of women in the world (almost 27%) have experienced violence at least once in their life

-One in 3 women experiences sexual or physical violence at least once in her life.

-5 women or girls are killed every hour by a member of their family.

-The percentage of murders of women committed by their partners reaches 38% of the total of these crimes.

– 6%of the world’s women report having been sexually assaulted by someone other than their partner.

-86%of women and girls live in countries where there are no legal protection systems from gender-based violence.

-45% of women reported that they had experienced some form of violence against women.

-7out of 10 women expressed the belief that verbal or physical abuse by an intimate partner tomorrow is more common.

-6 out of 10 women feel the aggravation of sexual harassment in public places.

B. local indicators:

Female circumcision

The rates of circumcision among previously married women reached 85.6% compared to 92% in 2014. The rate of circumcision is higher in the countryside than in urban areas, and in the governorates of Upper Egypt than in the governorates of Lower Egypt, where it reached 91.5% in Upper Egypt compared to 84.1% in Lower Egypt. And 62% in the border governorates.

The rate of circumcision is also linked to the educational status of women, as the results indicate a decrease in the rates of circumcision with an increase in the educational level, reaching 82.4% among women who have completed secondary school or higher, compared to 85.9% among women who have completed primary school, and 89.8% among women who have not. Primary stage, and 94.9% who have never gone to school.

– Violence by the husband:

The results indicate that about 31%, or one-third of ever-married women between the ages of 15-49, have been exposed to some form of violence by their husbands (any form of violence, whether psychological, physical, or sexual).

Nearly a quarter of women, or 25.5% of previously married women between the ages of 15-49, have been exposed to physical violence, 22.3% to psychological violence, and 5.6% to sexual violence.

– Violence against women with disabilities:

The National Council for Women, in partnership with the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics and with the support of United Nations organizations, conducted a survey on violence against women with disabilities for the year 2020 – the survey sample included 5,616 women with disabilities – the most prominent results of which were as follows:

– 61% of women with disabilities were exposed to some form of violence by their husbands at any stage of their lives.

-54% of previously married women were exposed to psychological violence by their husbands, 43% were exposed to physical violence by their husbands, and 34% were exposed to disability-related violence by their husbands.

– 20% of women with disabilities have been exposed to sexual violence, and 14% have been exposed to both psychological, physical, sexual, and disability-related violence by their husbands at any period of their lives.

The family and the surrounding environment are the main reasons why girls with disabilities are exposed to violence

– The study showed that 35% of the respondents have been exposed to psychological violence by family members or the surrounding environment since the age of 15, 28% have been exposed to disability-related violence, 25% have been exposed to physical violence, about 10% have been exposed to any form of sexual violence, and 8% have been sexually harassed .

Women with disabilities who are young and living in urban governorates are more vulnerable to violence

– Women with disabilities who are young and living in urban governorates are more exposed to violence in public places than older women or residents of the sea or tribal face.

– 66% of women who have experienced violence in public places have not taken any action to counteract this violence .

– Women with visual impairments are more likely to be subjected to violence in public places than women with other disabilities

– 7% of women with multiple disabilities had violence against them as the reason for the occurrence of these disabilities.

Fifth: the Egyptian state’s efforts to eliminate violence against women

-The 2014 Constitution obligated the Egyptian state, in both Articles 11 and 53, to ensure the achievement of equality between men and women, protect them from all forms of violence, and provide care and protection for childhood and motherhood.

The national strategy for Human Rights (2021-2026) included items stipulating ” effective implementation of policies to combat violence against women through raising awareness ” and benefiting from programs to combat all forms of violence against women and developing policies that would create a supportive environment for Battered Women in reporting perpetrators of violence to benefit from protection services.

In 2022, the National Council for women launched the results of the research ” violence against women with disabilities”, which was prepared in cooperation with the central agency for public mobilization and statistics and the Ministry of Social Solidarity, which is the first study of its kind in the Arab region.

The National Council for women, in partnership with the central agency for public mobilization and statistics and with the support of UNICEF, carried out the first national survey on the ” economic cost of gender-based violence in Egypt ” in 2015.

The National Council for women launched the national strategy for the elimination of violence against women 2015-2020, and launched a special unit to follow up and implement this strategy, in coordination and cooperation with various relevant state agencies.

The council launched the” national strategy for the empowerment of Egyptian women 2030 ” within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, and in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030, where the strategy recognizes the importance of addressing violence against women and protecting women from all forms of violence.

The Ministry of Justice, in accordance with the cooperation protocol with the National Council for Women, established committees to protect women from violence, whose mission is to review legislation related to violence as well as submit the necessary legislative proposals.

The state established primary care units, equipped working women’s service centers, and social protection projects for abused women.

Sixth: proposals to reduce the phenomenon of violence against women

Despite the great and unprecedented efforts made by the Egyptian state to eliminate all practices of violence against women, more efforts can be made, which can be summarized as follows :

1-inclusion of violence against women practices in demographic and health surveys that monitor and develop accurate information about demographic characteristics.

2-establishment of a database on the scale and characteristics of violence against women and its nature.

3-documenting the practices of violence against women and estimating its rates and consequences in order to develop plans to prevent these practices.

4-expansion of research and studies on the causes and consequences of violence against women with the identification of effective measures necessary to prevent these practices in the future

5-expanding the involvement of civil society institutions, youth leaders and the private sector in studying the causes of violence against girls and women, while providing the necessary funding for this

6-providing survivors of violence with psychological and social support and economic and social empowerment programs .

7-develop a national program to work with couples and provide them with programs aimed at improving communication skills and establishing healthy marital relationships.

8-developing a national cultural program aimed at increasing community awareness and changing all standards that promote gender inequality.

9-providing curricula with programs that promote the values of gender equality.

10-encouraging girls and women to immediately report any attempts to commit violence against them and to inform the concerned authorities immediately after the occurrence of these crimes.

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