At least 30 percent of married women in Egypt were subjected to spousal abuse in 2014, according to a report released by the Center Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The violence women face takes on many forms, including physical, psychological or sexual violence, according to CAPMAS.
The report was published on the eve of the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and claims that 25.2 percent of married women were subjected to physical violence from their husbands.
According to the report, sexual violence is less prevalent between married couples, where about only 4 percent of married women were sexually assaulted by their husbands.
The report also said that about 19 percent of married women have suffered psychological abuse from their husbands.
Percentage distribution of married women who were subjected to violence from their husbands
according to the type of violence.
The report attributed women’s education as a factor when gauging whether violence will be used against them, showing that a low education level makes women more receptive to violence.
“39.5 percent of married women with primary levels of education along with few secondary level cases have been subjected to violence from their husbands [in comparison to] 25 percent of those with a secondary education level or higher,” the report said.
Upper Egypt had the lion’s share of violence, as 32.4 percent of married women were subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence from their spouses compared to 29.1 percent in Lower Egypt, 29 percent in urban governorates and 25.5 percent in the border regions.
The report said one out of every three married women in Egypt are subjected to physical violence starting at the age of 15, representing 35.5 percent of the entire population of married women in Egypt.
“39.9 percent of married women aging from 20 to 24 are exposed to physical violence,” said the report.
Percentage distribution of married women who were subjected to physical violence according to age.
The report also shed light on female genital mutilation (FGM), revealing that it declines when both women’s education level and household economic and social levels increase.
More than half of married women were between 7 and 10 years old when they were cut, and 6 out of every 10 women believe that the practice of FGM should continue.
“Nearly half of women surveyed thought that men also preferred for the circumcision practice to be continued,” said the report.
A recent report ranked Egypt as 136 out of 145 countries in gender equality, ranking lower than Oman and Saudi Arabia, garnering the unenviable position of being among the 10 worst countries for gender equality in the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015.
“The crimes being committed against women and girls in conflict zones, along with the domestic abuse found in all countries, are grave threats to progress,” said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in a message to the world on the International Day For Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Ki Moon said roughly half of today’s 60 million forcibly displaced people are women. “Many who flee war and violence are often exploited by unscrupulous smugglers, and frequently suffer gender discrimination and xenophobia in host societies,” he said.