MP Amal Salama, a member of the Media and Culture Committee in Egypt’s House of Representatives has completed preparing new amendments to the Penal Code that will harshen the penalty for a husband’s abuse of his wife.
The proposed changes will enforce imprisonment for a period of no less than three years and up to five years for spousal abuse, she said.
Salama added that she is collecting the signatures of other MPs on the amendments in order to get the ten required signatures for a draft law to enter discussion.
“A large number of MPs especially female MPs, showed great enthusiasm to sign the draft amended law,” she mentioned.
Salama said that the new law shows that the state is committed to protecting women from all forms of violence, especially since domestic abuse against wives has become a threat to the Egyptian family.
She stated that in the amendments will be added to Article 11 of the Egyptian Constitution, which calls for equality between women and men in all civil, political, economic, social and cultural settings.
She pointed out that the main reason for preparing the bill is that current Penal Code does not include appropriate penalties for the offense of hitting a wife, adding, “Some men believe that beating their wives increase their manhood.”
And she continued: “Recent studies have indicated that about eight millions Egyptian women face violence and 86 percent of wives are subject to abuse, according to the latest statistics of the National Council for Women.”
Salama explained that the amendments will also change Article 242. The amendment states that: “If beating or wounding occurs from a husband to his wife, the penalty is compulsory imprisonment for a period of not less than three years and not exceeding five years.”
The text of Article 242, after the amendment, comes as follows:
“If the beating or wound is not grave as stipulated in the two previous articles, the perpetrator shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or by a fine of not less than LE10 and not exceeding LE200. If it was premeditated, the penalty shall be detention for a period not exceeding two years or a fine of not less than LE10 and not exceeding LE300. If the beating or wound occurred using any weapons, sticks, machines, or other tools, the penalty shall be mandatory imprisonment for a period of no less than three years and not more than five years.”
The punishment shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years for the crimes stipulated in Article 242, if any of them are committed for terrorist motives.
The draft law also introduced the same amendment to Article 243 of the Penal Code by adding a clause: “The punishment shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years if the beating or wounding used weapons, sticks, machines or other tools.”
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm