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“The Phenomenon of Intimate Partner Violence in Egypt”

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On the 22nd of August, 2021, the Research and Studies Unit at the Dialogue Forum Foundation for Development and Human Rights issues a report entitled as “The Phenomenon of Intimate Partner Violence in Egypt”.

The report explains that recently, many incidents of violence against women as well as women’s violence against men have surfaced. Men in Egypt have been beaten or killed by their wives. It seems that the main motives behind women’ committing these crimes are betrayal, psychological stress, neurological diseases, and changes in Egyptians’ social values, rather than women being violent as social media promotes.

In regards to the phenomenon of intimate partner violence in Egypt, the report explains that there are many reasons behind it, including; the misunderstanding of the legitimate right of the husband to raise his dependents, and social reasons, such as marital disputes and parents’ interference in family affairs. There are also factors of gender inequality, political crises, social and economic instability.

One of the reasons for the existence of the phenomenon of marital violence is also the weakness of religious faith.  In addition, the phenomenon of marital violence, especially, violence against women increases in emergency situations and epidemics, so the phenomenon of marital violence has been linked to the spread of Covid-19. Among the other reasons are the marginalization of women and the lack of income of men who are not able to meet the needs of the wife and children.

The report states that psychological violence is the predominant form of violence in Egypt, as it represents (73%) of all forms of violence suffered by men. As for physical violence, which occupies the second place, it represents (20%) of all forms of violence.

The report confirms that the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly increased these percentages, especially with the increase of expenses and burdens on households. According to official data, the income of 70% of workers in the public and private sectors was negatively affected in the first months of the pandemic. 

The report monitored some cases of intimate partner violence in Egypt from the beginning of 2021 until the 20th of August. During the reporting period, 9 cases from a total of 20 (45%) has been reported of wives killing or poisoning their husbands.

The report has also monitored cases of intimate partner violence in 11 governorates, being among the governorates in which domestic or marital violence occurs the most. Qalyubia governorate is where most intimate partner violence crimes occurred, with 5 cases, followed by Giza governorate with 4 cases, while the governorates of Qena and Gharbia came in third place with 2 cases for each. The governorates of (Dakahlia, Beni Suef, Assiut, Kafr El-Sheikh, Beheira, Minya, and Cairo) came in the fourth place with one case for each of them.

The report concludes with a set of recommendations, the most important of which are:

             Awareness must be raised for “families”, which in return educates children on the importance of both marriage and respect for the life partner, even though this solution will be effective in the future, not in the contemporary moment. 

             The necessity to develop psychological and religious aspects within the members of society, through religious institutions such as Al-Azhar and the Church.

             The need to improve the economic situation because of its significant role in the phenomenon of domestic violence.

             The need to demand a new legislative amendment to protect women in households, as the current legislation equates domestic violence with public violence, and there were many calls for issuing a law against gender-based violence.

             The need to develop and increase the number of shelters ,“houses for battered women”, provide them with services on a larger scale, and facilitate their entry procedures.

             Provide hotlines for marital counseling, by the government.

             Highlighting that the criminal acts conducted in movies and other media productions, in which the embodied roles are in violation of the law, should not be implemented in reality.

             Forming joint committees supported by the state and civil society organizations, comprising social, psychological and legal specialists of all disciplines, clerics, and those concerned with family affairs, in order to determine the aspects necessary to reduce bloodshed.

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