8 December 2008

Angola: Ministry Seeks Contributions to Bill on Domestic Violence

Luanda — The Ministry of Family and Women Promotion (Minfamu) and its partners are meeting Monday in Luanda to gather contributions to improve the draft law on domestic violence.

For two days, the participants to the national workshop discussing the issue will analyse the points contained in the draft that has been submitted to public consultation and whose conclusions will later be forwarded for approval from concerned authorities.

Addressing the meeting, the minister of Family and Women Promotion, Genoveva Lino, said that although the Angolan constitution makes provisions on equal rights between men and women, matters related to gender violence in the country are gaining a worrying trend.

She said gender violence constitutes a grave human rights abuse from the civic point of view and requires a law that guarantees the protection to the victims, mostly women, and appropriate punishment to aggressors.

The minister said that women's rights violations, often not seen as a crime, are not reported and when reported do not guarantee protection to the victims and the aggressors punishment.

Genoveva Lino stressed that the lack of a specific law contributes to the silence of the victims.

Minfamu recorded more than 5,000 cases of domestic violence in the first semester of this year. The main causes were evasion to paternity, assistance with food, shelter, sexual abuse, death threats with firearms or cold steel.

This is added to cases of murder of women, allegedly for passion reasons.

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