To Beat or Not to Beat: Determinants of Domestic Physical Violence in Egypt
AbstractEgypt lags behind in key indicators of women's wellbeing including female labor force participation, political inclusion as well as access to health and sanitation for example. According to the United Nations Human Development Report (EHDR) 2014, Egypt Ranks
130 on the Gender Equality Index Among 187 countries, showing an alarming situation that needs more attention. Although some
progress had been achieved with a reduction in maternal and child mortality and enhanced quality of childcare, in addition to
improvements in female literacy and access to education, there is more that needs to be done (El Ashmawy, 2010).
According to Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) 2014, one-third of Egyptian women have ever experienced some form of
spousal violence, with 25 percent saying they were subjected to physical violence, 19 percent emotional violence, and 4 percent
sexual violence. And this type of violence against women was perpetrated by no other than their domestic partners who are
considered the most common perpetrators of violence. Moreover, half of ever-married women aged between 15-49 in Egypt often
justified wife hitting or beating. These findings supports that living in patriarchal settings, growing up in a violent household and
being socially and economically dependent on the intimate partner does not only result in justifying the beating, but also raises the
risk of exposure to domestic violence. (Yount and Li, 2009).
Violence against women is considered the most widespread form of human rights violation worldwide. This problem imposes a
significant economic burden on society, in the form of health care and legal costs, as well in the form of a decline in productivity. It
can also have harmful consequences for children who witness it in terms of their emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development,
explained as an intergenerational cycle of violence by the learned behavior theory (Bandura, 1977).