Cairo: An Egyptian female lawmaker has proposed making beating one’s wife an offence punishable by up to five years in prison.
MP Amal Salama said she has finalised a draft law and is rallying up support from her colleagues in the legislature to present for debate and approval.
The draft introduces amendments to Egypt’s penal code and proposes a minimum three-year jail term for the spouse beating his wife, Salama said in a statement.
“The state authorities are committed to protecting the woman from all forms of violence,” she said. “The issue of beating wives has become a grave danger for the Egyptian family and a threat to peace,” she added. “Some men believe that beating [the wife] makes him appear more manly and stronger in the wife’s eyes.”
Around 86 per cent of wives in Egypt are subjected to violence, Salama added, citing figures of an official pro-women council.
She argued that the nation’s penal code does not include “appropriate penalties” for wife beating.
“My amendments are based on Article No 11 of the Egyptian constitution that provides for equality between the woman and the man in all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights,” she said.
A large number of lawmakers have “expressed great enthusiasm” for backing the draft, she added without giving a specific figure.
At least one tenth of the 596-member assembly must endorse any draft bill to allow it to be presented for discussion.