18 December 2012

Egypt: All Religions Condemn Violence Against Women - Head of Women Council

Chairwoman of Egypt's National Council for Women Mervat al-Talawy has urged both the Ministries of Media and Education to exert all possible effort to correct cultural misconceptions in society which contribute to the high rate of violence against women.

The former Minister of Social affairs urged religious institutions to promote ending violence against women, such as female genital mutilation and early marriage.

Talawy insisted that ending violence against women would require a powerful campaign to change the mentality that tolerates violence, she also stressed on the need to raise awareness of the issue at an early age.

"Culture and religion should not be considered as obstacles against taking the necessary measures to stop violence. All religions condemn violence against women," she said in a statement, delivered at an international forum on "Ending Violence Against Women" in the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York on Sunday.

Talawy discussed Egypt's national strategy to empower women through the promotion of laws and regulations.

She displayed the council's efforts to reduce abuse against women, saying it adopted an initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior to increase security patrols in all the streets and install surveillance cameras to track sexual offenders.

Talawy emphasized that the council aims at holding intensive trainings for police officers on human rights and appointing female officers in police departments.

She said that they held 27 meetings simultaneously in all provinces in cooperation with the UN to discuss all forms of violence against women.

In a questionnaire on the topic, the results pointed out that 61% of violent incidents are domestic whereas 38% take place in public areas and workplaces.

The International Forum targets translating international promises of governments into concrete national action and was launched in the lead up to the next meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) early next year.

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