Anti- violence conference on Arab woman: Half of all wives beaten last year
An official report about violence against Arab women revealed a drastic shortage in information on the prevalence of this phenomenon, noting that the demographic and health survey for 1995 was the first field study to discuss the extent of the spread of certain aspects of violence phenomenon against women in Egypt.
The report stressed that one in three Egyptian woman were exposed to beating in the past year and the rate reaches more than half concerning beating in general during marriage time and that 45 % of them were beaten once, at least this year, while women exposed to beating for three to 6 times during the same period of time reached 17%, and that 10% of women who were beaten to the extent that they needed medication.
Moreover, 32% of the women were beaten during their pregnancy.
The report which was presented at the regional conference on violence against women which wrapped up deliberation in Cairo on May 14 explained that the question of violence against women did not occupy a remarkable position in the governmental or non- governmental work programs, at the Egyptian and Arab levels, only in the second half of the 1990s, especially following the Beijing conference which dealt with the phenomenon against women as one of the pivotal issues of its concluded work program.
Works of the regional Arab conference organized by the League of the Arab woman was concluded on May 14 in Cairo on "violence against the woman É its dimension and consequences." It was held in collaboration with several Arab and international organizations in collaboration with the Arab organization for human rights, the rights and democracy center in Canada, the International Fund for the Woman, the UNFPA; the UN committee for Human rights, Oxfam and Mama Cash.
During their two- day deliberation, the conferees discussed several main topics to evaluate conditions of violence against woman in the Arab states during the past decade. These topics include violence against the woman within the family like traditional practices, social violence like rape, sexual harassment, trading in women, violence practiced by state authorities at trading centers, prisons, violence at times of armed conflicts and main laws and measures taken by the government in order to eliminate violence against women and main obstacles facing people's organizations in working in this field.
Some 30 non- governmental Arab organizations from Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates UAE, and Qatar and 450 Egyptian people's organizations representing all Egyptian governorates took part in the gathering.
The rapparateur of the conference Huda Badran said that most regions had carried out these studies and only the Arab region is left out. She continued it was decided that this study in the Arab region to be carried out by the human rights society at the Arab League which chose the Arab Woman League for this task. She said that the league started executive steps to convene the conference, hoping a work program will be built and executed along the five coming years, in which every Arab state will have its own special program but within the united Arab context.