Violence against Women Surges in Egypt
Between 25 November 2015, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (VaW), and 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a time to encourage action to end violence against women and girls all around the world. On this occasion, EuroMed Rights is re-launching a set of factsheets on violence against women including information on the state of play updated to December 2015.
In Egypt, despite some developments, the main challenges existing in the legal and policy framework remain unaddressed. Domestic violence against women remains largely tolerated and no efforts have been made by the Egyptian government to fight it. Yet, for the first time since the criminalization of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in 2008, a sentence was delivered in January 2015 against two people who were found guilty for the death of a 13-year-old girl as a consequence of undergoing an FGM operation. The doctor who performed the FGM procedure was sentenced to two years in prison for manslaughter and three months for performing the operation, while the girl´s father was given a three-month suspended sentence.
A national strategy to combat violence against women (VaW) was launched in June 2015 by the National Council for Women (NCW). The strategy includes three areas of intervention: prevention, protection, and prosecution and litigation. However, it falls short of addressing the legislative changes that need to be made to combat VaW and disregards serious issues such as VaW committed by state actors as well as collective sexual violence. Furthermore, the process under which this strategy was being implemented, was not transparent, did not sufficiently consult with the Civil Society and women’s rights organizations who had been calling for such a strategy, nor did it take into consideration their recommendations…