African Women Voices
Issues related to violence against women are becoming stereotyped and over-repeated, except from when someone stands up and states, in a rather convinced way, that ending violence on women is an abomination.
It happened in Egypt, where the ruling Islamic party, the Muslim Brotherhood, refused to sign the UN Women Declaration on Ending Violence on Women because it might lead to the dissolution of their country. So they say.
The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt’s biggest party represented by the country already controversial president Mohammed Morsi. Created in the 20s, the organisation bases its beliefs on the Quran, having as a motto: “Islamic is the solution”. Here is where the clash takes place. It’s inconceivable to be Muslim and to fight violence on women in the UN-style. Because what the international organisation is requiring would “destroy family life and the entire society.”
In fact, a woman cannot be given equal rights if she cheated as this, might just foment more adulterous relationships. Nor she is allowed to be sexually free enough to decide her own sex or the sex of her partner. Ergo, no homosexual relation has to be allowed.
Dulcis in fundo, do not under any circumstance put rape from a husband on the same level of rape committed by a stranger. This will dissolute a community.
Surprisingly enough this is what pushed the UN to have a declaration in the first place: to secure women and society could advance. The first document, written in 1993, says:
violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development and peace
Opposing the UN declaration is quite convenient for Egypt’s ruling party, especially in a country where domestic violence often goes unreported. A study on rural areas in Alexandria, revealed that between 48.5 and 61 per cent of women attacked by their husbands, did not look for help. And many believe it is normal for a husband to beat a wife and have sex with her whenever he wants to.
Far from being the national representation of Egyptian women, it has to be reminded that women have been at the forefront of the Egyptian revolution throughout 2011 and 2012. Being educated and conscious of their rights, that’s what they were able to do to defend them. God forbid they become knowledgeable and gain an international authorisation to do that. There might just be another revolution.