Date: 8 June 2006
UNIFEM and the General Union of Women released the first-ever comprehensive field study of violence against women in Syria in May 2006. The study included close to 2,000 families, selected at random, with men and women in each family questioned separately. According to UNIFEM, formal studies on the issue had not been done before and there was no data to conduct any sort of analysis. It is hoped that the report will bring the issue out into the open, and stimulate dialogue on topics such as honour killings, domestic abuse, forced marriage and sexual assault.
Some general findings include:
— 56% of the reasons given for women's being punished were for "disrespect" and cursing; 14% for neglecting their household duties. Husbands beat their wives in 49% of such cases, used insults in 38%, and used silent treatment in 8.4%.
— 67% of women had been punished in front of their families — 52% were insulted and 87% were beaten.
Read more key findings from the report. The full report is currently available only in Arabic. For more information, contact Shirin Shukri, shirin.shukri[at]unifem.org