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Once again.. Women speak out: Results of a Field Research on violence against women in Egypt

Once again.. Women speak out.

Results of a Field Research on violence against women in Egypt


Introduction

In 1994 the New Woman Research foundation together with El Nadim Center carried out the first field research on women's perceptions of gender violence. The research was a contribution to the preparatory activities of Egyptian civil society organizations for the Beijing conference on women. It came as a reply to those who claimed that violence against women does not happen in our societies, that it is rare and limited to poor, deprived and marginalized classes and that even when it happens, women do not object to it and consider it a natural component of their personal lives and therefore should not be addressed by outsiders.

At that time, because we are women, and because we believed that human beings all over the world and across all times were thriving for physical and psychological safety and wellbeing, and because we are convinced that our people and our women are not an exception to that rule, since they are first and foremost human begins, we decided to seek the voices of women themselves concerning their attitudes towards violence in general and that violence which befalls them and their children in particular. The results of the 1994 research confirmed that we Egyptian women are no different from all the rest of the world.. we reject harm, humiliation and oppression and wish for a life that is free of violence, injustice and discrimination, even when such a life seems difficult to achieve because of social and economic factors and religious interpretations colored by the mentality of the interpreters.

In 1995 the Demographic Health survey confirmed the results of the 1994 research. It was carried out on a wider national sample of women. Since then and until now work on violence against women has advanced a few steps.. it is not longer that sensitive issue which people refrain from addressing. Programs against gender violence at home, in the workplace and on the streets are increasing and are being hosted by many non governmental organizations. Even official bodies such as the national council for women could no longer avoid the subject. However the approach to the issue remains to a great extent - wit the exception of feminist and human rights organizations - a charitable one, addressing it as an issue of misconduct resulting from lack of morality and education and not for it is: a manifestation of a patriarchal society where patriarchy cuts across all its institutions. Women subjected to gender violence are still looked upon as victims and little effort is made to identify the strengths in those women who, to their best abilities, struggle to live and provide for a better life for their children.

As we did in 1994 to identify the forms of violence that befall women and their attitudes towards that violence, we returned again to the women in 2007 to revisit the map of gender violence in Egypt and to listen to what they have to say concerning a proposed legislation to criminalize domestic violence, a campaign which el Nadim had organized in collaboration with 90 Egyptian non governmental organizations (List attached). Our proposal suggests that violence against women be treated like any other crime. Just as theft and murder are considered crimes even when they take place within the family, we argued, together with five other organizations in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, that women should enjoy legal protection even if the crime is committed within the private boundaries of the home. The draft proposal was submitted to five parliamentarians, Mr. Hamdin Sabahi, Dr. Saber Fahmy, Mr. Mohamed Abdel Daiem, Mr. Mohamed Abdel Aziz Shabaan and Mr. Gamal Zahran on the 26th of March 2008.

Just as women's voices were determinant in 1994 in breaking the walls of silence surrounding the violence that befalls them, so were their voices in this research, calling upon Egyptian legislation to take a stand regarding gender violence. Not only because the majority of women participating in this research have agreed to the need for such legislation, and not only because a number of them said that even if they were not able to use such a law in their favor, they wish to see it enforced in protection of their daughters in the future, but also because it is time that the impunity of privacy should be lifted off those crimes which take place in the house. The law should address crimes no matter where they take place and no matter who commits them.

The following pages present the results of that research. 1261 women of different ages, educational, social and economic status express their opinions. They do not represent Egyptian women. But they give an indicator regarding the size of the problem and the factors which might impact them.

Those are the voices of women. When it comes to violence against women, it is women who should be talking and the rest should listen.


Research Methodology:

This is a quantitative research. A questionnaire was designed to be filled by the woman herself or in case of illiterate women was read to her by the field researcher. In all cases women had to chose between multiple suggestions with a few open questions to explain some of the choices. The questionnaire was discussed by the team of field researchers and was initially applied to smaller sample, and amended according to the feedback from the field.

Participants in the research included 1261 women from six governorates: Cairo, Giza, Qalubeyya, Alexandria and El Menya. We depended on our connections with community based organizations, among which we wish to especially acknowledge:

  • Bent El Nil Association - Dar El Salam

  • Helwan Foundation for Community Development "Bashayer"

  • Agha Khan Foundation - El Darb El Ahmar

  • Community Development Association - Ezbet Bekhit

  • Caritas in Matareyya, Boulaq and Ezbet Hagana

  • Egyptian Association for Human Development

  • Family Development Foundation - Giza

  • Hawa'a El Mostaqbal Association - Menya

  • Family Planning Association - Alexandria

  • Women and Development Association - Alexandria

The questionnaire moved from one theme to the other, from more general questions to more detailed and personal ones. The presentation of the results does not follow the same sequence of the questionnaire, but are presented under the following headings:

  1. Description of sample

  2. Women perceptions of gender violence at home, on the street and in the workplace.

  3. Women's personal experience of gender violence at home, on the street and in the workplace.

  4. Attitude towards the proposed legislation against domestic violence against women.

  5. Attitude towards FGM.



Part I

Research Sample


Size and age of sample

The sample included 1262 women. Their ages ranged between 10 and 83 years. Average age was 32.68 years.

Social status:

Most of the women were married (64%), while unmarried women constituted 17%, divorced women 7% and widows 4% of the sample. 8% of the women were in a relation with a significant other, either through engagement or informally.


Married

Not married

Engaged

Divorced

Widowed

In a relation

Unknown

Total

No

809

213

101

83

50

3

2

1261

%

64

17

8

7

4

0

0

100

Educational Level

The sample included women of different educational levels distributed as follows: 19% illiterate, 11% finished primary school, 10% finished preparatory school, 30% finished secondary school, 23% finished university and 6% had higher degrees.


Illiterate

Primary

Preparatory

Secondary

University

Higher

?

Total

No

237

144

126

375

292

77

10

1261

%

19

11

10

30

23

6

1

100

Occupation

Two women only were not involved in any occupation. The rest of the women were distributed as follows: 48% housewives, 30% civil servants, 10% workers in factories and workshops, 6% students and 3% professionals. Noteworthy is the small percentage of professionals compared to those with university or beyond university degrees.


HW

Civil serv

Workers

Student

Prof.

Other

Not working

?

Total

No

611

383

120

77

41

14

2

13

1261

%

48

30

10

6

3

1

0

1

100

Expenditure in the Family:

In 47% of cases the husband or father was the sole breadwinner in the family. In 28% women were contributing to the family income and in 18% they were the only breadwinner. In 1% of cases the children contributed to the family income.


Husband/Father alone

Wife/Mother contributes

Wife/Mother alone

Children

Other

?

Total

No

587

353

226

8

49

38

1261

%

47

28

18

1

4

3

100

Summary:

Most of the women were married and with some level of education. The majority ranged between high school and university. Housewives constituted about half of the sample. Also about one half of the sample of the women was contributing to the family income either alone or together with their partner.


Part II

Women's Perception of Violence


I. Domestic violence

1- Who are the family members most likely to be subjected to violence?

The majority of the sample believed that the wife is the family member most subjected to violence (61%) followed by the daughter (25%) then the son (9%). 2% mentioned the husband and 3% said they did not know the answer to that question. 3 women said that everybody in the family is subjected to violence and one woman said "nobody". The total is higher than the total size of the sample because of multiple responses to the question.


Wife

Daughter

Son

Husband

All

None

?

Total

No.

974

394

141

48

3

1

40

1601

%

61

25

9

3

0

0

2

100

2- Who are the family members most likely to be violent in the family?

The majority of responses mentioned the husband or father (40 and 33% respectively), followed with a big difference by family of the husband (8%) then family of wife (7%) then wife or mother ( 4 and 3% respectively).

 


Husband

Wife

Family of Husband

Son

Everyone

Don't know

No

898

95

183

71

4

40

%

70

7

14

5

0

3


Father

Mother

Family of wife

Daughter

Nobody

No answer

No

754

73

64

38

1

39

%

78

8

7

4

0

4

3- Incest

One third of the sample of women had not heard about the crime of incest even after it was explained to them. 66% knew about it and 175 said that they personally knew somebody who was subjected to it. This was followed by an inquiry about a personal experience thereof which we shall address in the following section.

Total responses = 1261

Yes

No

No answer

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Know of it?

827

66

419

33

15

1

Know someone who was subject to it?

215

17

1021

81

25

2

II. Violence on the Street

The majority of women (94%) have heard of women being harassed on the street, while 5% of the sample said they didn't and 1% of the sample did not reply to this question.

Awareness of sexual harassment on the street

No

%

Yes

1178

94

No

65

5

No reply

18

1

Total

1261

100

III. Violence in the workplace:

52% of the women recognize that women are likely to be subjected to harassment in the workplace. 59% of that group were themselves working for wage or students in university (37% civil servants, 11% workers, 6% students, 5% professionals), while 405 were housewives. As for those who did not hear of harassments in the workplace, most of them were housewives (59%) and 38% worked outside the house. (23% civil servants, 8% workers, 6% students, 1% professionals).

Personal knowledge of women who have experienced sexual harassment on the street

No

%

Yes

652

52

No

582

46

No reply

27

2

Summary:

From the above we can conclude that Egyptian women in this research do not lack in awareness regarding violence in women's lives in general. The extent of that awareness depended on the nature of violence and the places where it happened. What all women shared in common, the home, there was a consensus that gender violence does happen (98%). Only one woman denied its existence while 40 women did not reply to that question. Thee was also a majority who believed that the husband or the father was the most violent, followed by the husband's family then the mother then the rest of the members of the family. As for family members whoa re most exposed to that violence, the wife or mother came on top of the list followed by the daughter and then the remainder of family members. 3% of replies believed that the father or husband can also be victims of domestic violence.

Although the percentage of women aware of crimes of incest was lower than that of women who recognized domestic violence in general, still they constituted a high percentage within the sample (66%). One third of them, not a sample to be overlooked, said they personally knew somebody who was subjected to it.

As for harassment of women in the workplace there was higher awareness among students followed by workers, civil servants and professionals compared to housewives.


Part III

Personal experience of Violence


1- Domestic violence

Have you personally experienced violence in the home?

79% replied in the affirmative, while 20% denied and 1% did not reply to the question.


No

%

Yes

991

79

No

253

20

No reply

17

1

Who was the aggressor?

In 55% of cases the aggressor was the husband, followed by the father (20%), the brother (12%), the husband's family (5%) then the mother, the son and others (2%, 2% and 1% respectively). Again the total number of responses here is higher than the size of the sample because of multiple responses per person.



Aggressor

No

%

Husband

628

55

Father

233

20

Brother

141

12

Husband's family

55

5

No reply

28

2

Mother

25

2

Son

23

2

Other

8

1

Sister

2

0

Stepfather

2

0

The whole family

1

0

Total

1146

100



Forms of Violence Experienced

The forms of violence experienced by those 79% of the sample included on top of the list humiliation, beating, not permitting outings, ignoring, and allowance deprivation. The least reported forms of violence included not allowing education, polygamy, and divorce in absentia. Again the total number is higher than that of the sample size because of multiple responses.

Forms of violence

No.

%

Humiliation

760

18

Beatings

656

16

Not allowed to go out

341

8

Ignoring

309

8

Financial deprivation

286

7

Threats

253

6

Family visits denied

235

6

Extreme jealousy

208

5

Throwing out of the house

207

5

Forced sex

165

4

Not allowing wife to work

163

4

Betrayal

159

4

Threat to take children

127

3

Not permitting education

84

2

Polygamy

82

2

Divorce in absentia

63

2

Other

12

0

Total

4110

100

Comparison between women who have been subject and those have not been subject to domestic violence

We are not among those who believe that women are responsible for the violence that befalls them. We believe that the responsibility of an act lies with the person who commits the act and that the behavior which needs management is that of the aggressor and not that of the object of the aggression. Still we undertook this comparison to provide evidence to our conviction that domestic violence is not limited to class or level of education but that it cuts across all social classes.

Comparing both groups we found that the group subjected to violence is three times the size of the one who has not been subjected to violence. The average age of both groups was similar.

Experienced domestic violence

Yes

No

Number

991

252

Age

10 - 83

11 - 73

Average age

32.2 years

32.5 years

Regarding social status the women most violated were married women followed by non married women, engaged women, divorced women and finally widows. The sequence was the same in the non violated group with the exception of the last two categories where the windows outnumbered the divorcees. No significant statistical differences were found within the two groups. However married and divorced women were significantly more represented in the violated group.

Social status at time of research

Experienced violence

Didn't experience violence

No

%

No

%

Widow

41

4

8

3

Not married

148

15

59

23

Married

639

64

163

65

Engaged

84

8

17

7

In a relation

2

0

1

0

Divorced

77

8

4

2

Total

991

100

252

100

As regards level of education women with a secondary school degree were the most prevalent in the violated group followed by those with a university degree, then primary degree, preparatory degree and finally post university degree. The sequence was different within the non violated group: university graduates coming first followed by secondary degree women, illiterate women, women with post university degrees, primary degree and then preparatory degree women. The differences between both groups were not statistically significant.



Educational Level

Experienced violence

Didn't experience violence

No

%

No

%

Illiterate

208

21

28

11

Primary school

120

12

21

8

Preparatory school

106

11

20

8

Secondary school

298

30

71

28

University

197

20

90

36

Post university

54

5

22

9

Total

8

1

0

0

Regarding occupation, violated women outnumbered non violated women in the group of housewives and workers and were less in the remainder of the groups. However the difference was not statistically significant.

Occupation

Experienced violence

Didn't experience violence

No

%

No

%

Housewife

512

52

94

37

Civil servant

264

27

112

44

Worker

106

11

12

5

Student

57

6

18

7

Professional

29

3

12

5

Other

13

1

1

0

Unknown

9

1

3

1

Does not work

1

0

1

0

Total

991

100

252

100

Summary:

Women subjected to domestic violence in this research cut across all social and educational statuses. There was no statically significant correlation with a particular occupational status except in the case of housewives who were significantly more among the violated group. It is note worthy that despite increasing voices that explain family problems and the increased rate of divorce to women's work outside the house and the confusion that follows regarding gender roles, our research did not indicate that maintaining the socially sanctioned female gender role of a housewife was protective for women. On the contrary, they were more represented in the violated group.

2. Incest

6% of the women sample said that they have been subjected to incest or sexual harassment by a family member.

Personal experience of incest

Yes

No

No reply

Total

No

74

1134

53

1621

%

6

90

4

100

We have looked in detail into the characteristics of this group and found the following:

Their ages ranged between 19 and 40 years.

They were almost equally distributed between the different educational levels except for those with a primary school degree who were less represented that the other.

Educational level

Illiterate

1ary

Prep.

2ndary

Univ.

Post univ.

Total

No

13

5

14

15

15

12

74

%

18

7

19

20

20

16

100

Regarding occupation the group was mainly made of housewives and women who worked as civil servants.

Occupation

HW

Civil

Worker

Student

Prof.

Unknown

Total

No

33

31

7

1

1

1

74

%

45

42

9

1

1

1

100

Most of the women in this group wee married (66%) followed by unmarried (15%), then divorcees (11%). This point needs further research and investigation. The social status reported here is the social status of the women at the time of the research. There was no question in our research regarding the time of occurrence of the incest. There is a tendency to believe that incest befalls younger women, mostly unmarried. We realize that such an issue cannot be addressed through direct questions alone but calls for longer and deeper interviews, which we recommend for future research.

Social status

Unmarried

Engaged

Married

Divorced

Unknown

Total

No

11

5

49

8

1

74

%

15

7

66

11

1

100

3. Harassment on the Street

64% of women said they experienced sexual harassment on the street, while 34% didn't and 2% did not reply to that question.

Personal experience

Yes

No

No reply

Total

No

806

424

31

4261

%

64

34

2

100

 

4. Harassment in the work place

144 women (12%) said they were personally subjected to some form of sexual harassment at work. Their educational level ranged between high school and post university degree.

Personal experience

Yes

No

No reply

Total

No

144

1074

42

1260

%

12

85

3

100



Part IV

Attitude towards a legislation against domestic violence


This part of the questionnaire was the most important regarding the campaign organized by El Nadim Center since 2005 regarding the need for a national legislation that criminalizes domestic violence and treats it like all other violations which call for legal and judicial intervention in favor of the assaulted.

Just as the first research in 1994 was met with a counter campaign from inside and outside the media, claiming that violence against women was not part of our culture, and, ironically and in contradiction with the first argument, that Egyptian women do not object to that violence, some of them even like it.. the current campaign was met with a similar campaign accusing us of being aliens in our own culture. We were accused of seeking to disrupt families and break homes. Some with quite a sick imagination said we wanted to plant cameras in bedrooms to monitor husbands' conducts!! The least we can say to those voices is to look around, to visit the courts and police stations and casualty rooms in hospitals and to observe for themselves the women who seek refuge in those places after their patience and endurance wears off. They come with blue eyes, broken ribs, all forms of injuries and they frequently begin to file complaints when the violence extends to involve the children. Then we can have a serious discussion of whether or not we need that legislation.

Once again, we want to clarify that we are not after breaking homes. Women are the most keen to keep their families together, much more keen than those voices who do not see in their suffering more than a disruption of the alleged "social harmony" and who view in every criticism a defamation of our country and our culture which needs a lot of amendment and sorting out.

We do not seek to break homes. On the contrary. We wish to see our homes thrive in happiness, harmony and respect for both women and men, young and old. We wish to see couples live together because they want to, because they love each other and not because one of them is afraid or oppressed or dreading being homeless or fearing the loss of the children. We look upon marriage as a relation of partnership that continues as long as both parties want and respect the provisions of the contract that brought them together. The marriage contract is a contract like any other. And like any other contract it has provisions. This is not an invention of ours. There are those who say that the marriage contract is sacred. To that we reply that this sacredness is mere fantasy. The contract as it stands now has several financial provisions and may include others. In each and every religion there are acts which justify the termination of that contract. However, the fact that it is not sacred does not mean that it should be devoid of respect, values and importance. Since we deeply believe in the value of human dignity and happiness we argue that a relationship between a man and a woman would be happier, more stable and supportive if each knew his/her rights and limits and accepted the fact that personal freedom ends when it encroaches on the freedoms of others.

Violence is one form of that encroachment. It is a violation and a crime whether committed by a man or a woman, whether committed against adults or children. It reduces the humanity of the aggressor. Gender violence is not "the nature of things". It is a conduct that enjoys the impunity granted by a society where the balance of power between men and women is unjust, feeding on a patriarchal and male centered interpretation of religious texts and local culture.

The following two tables present the attitude of our sample of women regarding the legislation we have advocated.

Our results show that most of the women (84%) supported the idea. It is noteworthy that the number of those who said they may use it, if it existed, was less than that of those who agreed to it (70%). Examining the different variables we found that 32% who agreed but said they would not use it, have not been subjected to violence in their private lives. The remainder of those 70% said there situation would not permit them to use such a legislation but they wish if would be there for their daughters in the future.




Do you agree to a legislation against domestic violence against women

No.

%

Yes

1055

84

No

198

15

Don't know

8

1

Total

1261

100


Would you use it if it existed?

No.

%

Yes

878

70

No

349

28

No reply

20

1

Don't know

14

1

Total

1261

100


Supporters were highest in number in all groups according to social status, except for young women who were not formally engaged yet but had a relation with a significant other. This result is expected, since the romanticism of the relationship, experienced by a couple outside all social regulations, usually does not foresee the social dictates and division of roles that characterize the formalization of the relationship.

We found no significant differences between the two groups regarding the duration of marriage (married women, divorcees, widows).

Social status

% supporters

% non supporters

Married

83.2

16

Average duration of marriage

16 yrs

12 yrs

Divorced

84.3

15.6

Average duration of marriage

8.6 yrs

10 yrs

Widowed

80

18

Average duration of marriage

22.7 yrs

27 yrs

Unmarried

84.5

15

Engaged

88

11.9

In a relation

33.3

66.6

Nor was there a significant difference between both groups regarding educational level. Supporters outnumbered non supporters across all educational levels.

Educational level

% supporters

% non supporters

Illiterate

76.8

22.8

Primary

81.3

17.4

Preparatory

89.7

10.3

Secondary

84.3

15.5

University

84.2

14.4

Post university

93.5

6.5

Unknown

90

10



The same was found regarding the occupation.

Educational level

% supporters

% non supporters

Housewife

81.2

17.8

Civil servant

85.1

14.4

Professional

90.2

9.8

Worker

86.7

13.3

Student

87

13

Not working

50

50

Unknown

92.3

7.7

Other

85.7

14.3


Comparison between supporters and non supporters of the legislation.

  1. There was no significant difference between the average ages of women in both groups.

  2. There was no significant difference between the distribution of social status among the two groups. Supporters had on average a longer duration of marriage but the difference was not statistically significant. Nor was there a difference in the number of children.

  3. Regarding education there was significantly more illiterate women among the non supporters, and of women of post university degrees among supporters. Other differences were not significant.

  4. As regards the occupation women working for wage were more among those who supported the law, while housewives were more among those who did not support the idea.






% supporters

% non supporters

No

%

No

%

No (%)

1055

84

189

15

Age

16 - 75


16 - 70


Average age

32.63


31.9


Social status





Single

180

17

32

16

In a relation

3

0

2

1

Engaged

89

8

12

6

Married

673

64

130

66

Divorced

70

7

13

7

Widowed

40

4

9

5

Duration of marriage

1 - 52


0.5 - 40


No. of children

0 - 8


0 - 9


Education





Illiterate

182

17

54

27

Primary

119

11

26

13

Preparatory

114

11

13

7

Secondary

315

30

58

29

University

246

23

42

21

Post university

72

8

5

3

Occupation





Housewife

497

47

113

57

Civil servant

326

31

55

28

Worker

104

10

16

8

Student

66

6

10

5

Professional

37

4

4

2

None

1

0

0

0


In addition to illiteracy there was one important variable which was significantly correlated with the attitude towards the proposed legislation: Personal Experience. 80% of supporters (840 out of 1055) have been personally subjected to domestic violence as compared to 74% of those who didn't. (146 out of 198).

Personal experience of domestic violence

% supporters

% non supporters

No

%

No

%

Yes

840

80

146

74

No

202

19

51

26

No reply

13

1

1

1

Total

1055

100

198

100

 


Part V

Female Genital Mutilation


This last section of the questionnaire was not planned at the beginning of the research, but was requested by CDA workers who reviewed the questionnaire. Since many of them are involved in awareness raising activities in the reproductive health field they requested that the questionnaire include one or two questions that address the attitude towards FGM.

Attitude towards FGM

No

%

Wrong

721

57

Right

477

38

Don't know

27

2

It's the doctor's decision

18

1

Depends

3

0

No reply

13

1

Total

1261

100


A positive indicator in the results is that those who oppose FGM outnumber those who still believe it should be done (57% versus 38%), which may be a gratifying result for the efforts of those NGOs. There are still women who have not made up their minds regarding FGM and doctors remain a reference for those women, indicating that doctors are a worthwhile target group of reproductive health activists.

We drew a comparison between the two groups who clearly supported or clearly denounced FGM.

The group rejecting FGM were younger in age.


Agree to FGM

Refuse FGM

Total

No

477

40%

721

60%

1200

Average age

33.9

31.2




The attitude towards FGM seemed to correlate with the level of education, supporters for the maintenance of the practice being higher among the illiterate and primary school group and less in all other educational levels. Among women with post university degrees non supporters of FGM were double as many as supporters.



Agree to FGM

Refuse FGM

Education

No

%

No

%

Illiterate

126

26

106

15

Primary

68

14

72

10

Preparatory

45

9

74

10

Secondary

137

29

217

30

University

84

18

194

27

Post University

17

4

58

8

Total

477

100

721

100


The age variable was felt again in the comparison between the two groups regarding their social status. Women who opposed the practice were highest among the unmarried group of women and lower among women who were married or have been married (including divorcees and windows). It is difficult to conclude an association between marriage and FGM and we assume for the time being that the difference is related to the age of the women, where younger women are more open to new information and more ready to correct older ones.


Agree to FGM

Refuse FGM

Social status

No

%

No

%

Married

327

69

444

62

Single

49

10

150

21

Engaged

33

7

62

9

Divorced

37

8

43

6

Widow

30

6

20

3

In a relation

1

0

2

0

Total

477

100

721

100



 


Conclusion

In conclusion of this presentation we wish to repeat that this research does not represent all women in Egypt. However, neither did it address one sector to the exclusion of others. Women who generously filled those questionnaires came from various social, educational and occupational backgrounds. Some of them have suffered violence, some didn't. some of them belong to groups targeted by CDAs and some have not been connected to any developmental work. Although the sample is not representative, we cannot ignore the importance of the indicators revealed: the percentage of women suffering violence in their own homes is too high to consider the matter resolved.. the opposing voices which were raised at the time when we presented the proposed draft legislation to parliament are still strong and there are still many who wish to surround the crime of domestic violence with a shield of silence and shame under the pretext of privacy, tradition and public order.

The findings of this research indicate that there remains a lot to be done and more efforts are needed. The women who have spoken out about domestic violence in this research, even those who did not agree to the idea of a legislation, have challenged the notion that domestic violence is a private matter, not to be talked about. They have spoken and again moved us a few more steps on the road to a life that is more just, a life free of violence and discrimination.

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