SDP representative in National Dialogue calls for unified law against family violence in Egypt

Habiba Hamdy , Friday 23 Jun 2023

During Thursday's National dialogue Family and Social Cohesion Committee session on family violence, Naglaa El-Gazzar, a representative of the Social Democratic Party emphasized the need for a unified law in Egypt to protect victims of family and community violence.

National Dialogue
File Photo: The second session of the Egyptian National Dialogue s political axis held in Cairo on Sunday, 21 May, 2023. Photo courtesy of the official Facebook Page of the National Dialogue

 

El-Gazzar highlighted the vulnerability of women, in particular, who are the main targets of such violence.

At the session, attendees and party representatives advocated for protecting women from violence by implementing laws that criminalize family violence and establishing a Supreme Council to address the issue.

The party representative asserted that women lack policies and legislation to protect them.

The speaker explained that a patriarchal society causes abused women to fear speaking out and depend on men for financial support, exacerbating the issue and forcing them to accept their situation.

In addition to a unified law on violence, Egypt requires a law to safeguard women who report such violence and witnesses as well.

The representative also urged the enhancement and expansion of rehabilitation centers for abused women in Egypt.

Nevine Salah, a representative of the Justice Party and the Civil Democratic Movement, echoed El-Gazzar's demand for a unified law criminalizing all forms of family violence and imposing penalties to deter such crimes.

She emphasized that the path to reform demands strenuous efforts from both state institutions and civil society organizations. She further added that it is crucial to enhance the protection services offered to victims.

The Justice Party representative stressed the need to prioritize rehabilitative justice, not just retributive justice, while imposing penalties for violence.

Salah attributed the causes of family violence to poor communication and problem-solving skills.

In addition, Salah continued, economic pressures such as debts and financial obligations worsen the problem, particularly for financially disadvantaged families.

She affirmed that violence used as a means of disciplining children and its portrayal in the media contribute to the rise in violence levels.

Enas Dowidar, a representative of the Coordination Committee of Party Youth Leaders and Politicians, stated that the pressures Egypt faced over the past decade, starting with the 2011 and 2013 revolutions, followed by the Coronavirus and the Ukrainian-Russian War, have escalated anxieties and mental health problems among the population.

She asserted that this has also raised the incidence of violence and emphasized the need to form a Supreme Council under the country's Council of Ministers.

She concluded that the Supreme Council should comprise of relevant authorities with distinct responsibilities to ensure the effective implementation of their duties.

Heba Hagras, a member of Egypt's National Council for Women, stated that the suggested council aims to strengthen the penalties for violence against women in families.

Furthermore, Hagras pointed out that women with disabilities are seven times more susceptible to family violence, and families tend to prioritize educating their male children with disabilities, leaving disabled females behind.

The National Dialogue is currently addressing the social track with two sessions this week, both falling under the Family and Social Cohesion theme. One session, titled Family Violence: Reasons and Tracks to Confrontation, is focused on family violence, while the other session is dedicated to exploring the dangers of modern technology on social cohesion.

The parallel session is named the Cultural and National Identity Committee.

The dialogue began on 3 May and is concluding its fourth week today.

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