Violence against women and girls is one of the most systemic and widespread violations of human rights worldwide. It takes place in every country, in peacetime as well as in situations of conflict and crisis, and affects women and girls regardless of age, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. It takes many forms, from domestic and sexual violence, to harmful practices such as childhood marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking, and multiple forms of femicide.
According to the Demographic Household Survey from 2008 and other research, there has been a remarkable increase of domestic violence, sexual harassment and FGM being the most common but grossly under-reported forms of violence in Egypt.
Gender-based violence is also dangerously widespread, with the most recent data available for domestic violence incidences, 2014 figures, putting more than one-third (36%) of ever-married women between age (15-49) experiencing physical violence since the age of 15. A 2013 governmental study revealed that over 99.3% of Egyptian women and girls surveyed reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime. The most commonly reported perpetrators are current husband (64%), but parents are also frequently listed (father/step-father, 26%, mother/step mother, 31%).
In a survey published by UN Women in 2013 More than 99 percent of women and girls in Egypt interviewed reported that they had experienced some form of sexual harassment.
Nearly half of all women surveyed for the Ministry of Health said that they had experienced some form of domestic violence in the last official figures on the issue. According to Amnesty Report 2015, survivors interviewed by Amnesty International described brutal physical and psychological abuse, saying that their spouses had beaten, whipped, burned and in some cases locked them inside the house against their will.
For decades, Egyptian women have been suffering from discriminatory and marginalizing practices alongside an unprecedented degree of social violence against women. Public spaces have become more restricted for women. Their civil liberties, such as the right to work and freedom of mobility, have become increasingly threatened. This is also identifitied in international statistics where Egypt is ranked highly among countries witnessing a decline in the socio-political status of women. In 2016, Egypt became No. 126 worldwide on women’s rights according to the Global Gender Gap Report. Additionally, Egypt ranked 95th out of 125 countries in regards to women holding ministerial positions. Furthermore, Egypt recorded a drastic decline in economic opportunities for women compared to previous years. As for the percentage of women to men in the labor force, Egypt ranked 130 out of 134 countries, as the percentage of unemployment among women is four times higher than that of men.