Violence against women costs Egypt an annual LE150 billion

A research paper prepared by Hamdi al-Henawy, professor of social economy, has shown that violence against women costs Egypt an annual LE147.6 billion.

The paper argued that the community pays LE841 a month per adult woman for medical treatment and due to the disruption of her productivity as a result of violence done against her.

The paper revealed that violence against women costs Egypt LE642.3 million in direct losses and LE143.7 billion in indirect losses in 2010.

The study was conducted on a random sample of 1,503 households in Minya, Sohag, Cairo and Alexandria, among families of low, middle and high economic backgrounds.

It showed that 50 percent of women were physically abused at a young age, with 93 percent of them suffering abuse from their parents.

It also showed that 81 percent of men believed they have the right to beat their wives and daughters. This belief is less common in Upper Egypt, where it is culturally taboo for men to beat girls, due to fears that beatings will result in the breaking of the hymen the loss of technical virginity.

According to the study, the first of its kind in the Arab world, 60 percent of parents choose husbands for their daughters, while 40 percent of women were allowed to choose their spouses for themselves.

“The whole society pays for the violence against women,” said Henawy. “And it has serious social and psychological impacts on children.”

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