Egypt

Population Size:

100, 388, 073 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Some 1.5 million Egyptian women report being subjected to domestic violence each year according to a NCW study. On average reported figures amount to 4000 cases per day.

UN Women estimated that almost a third of Egyptian women experienced intimate partner physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.[2]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.


Current law and policy:

Egypt continued to stall on a law that would tackle domestic violence. Despite the 2016 penal code amendments criminalizing female genital mutilation (FGM), prosecutions of perpetrators remained rare and FGM remains widely practiced throughout the country,[3] with an estimated four out of five genital mutilations performed by doctors in professional medical environments.[4]

Spousal rape is not illegal. Current law requires domestic violence victims to produce multiple eyewitnesses, and often the police consider domestic violence to be a social rather than criminal matter. In 2017 the Legislative Committee NCW prepared a draft law to the Egyptian parliament to put punitive sanctions, reaching 1-year improvement, for fathers, brothers and husbands found guilty of physically or verbally assaulting women in their family. The Committee held hearings with representatives of relevant government bodies, civil society and NGOs to consult on the law. However, there has been no information on its progress.

In response to COVID-19, The National Council for Women published a policy paper on March 30th 2020 entitled “The Rapid Response to Women’s Situation during the Covid-19 Outbreak” the first of its kind published by any government globally. Through the NCW the report recommends measures focusing upon violence against women. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Egypt was the first country to issue a Women Policy Tracker to monitor all governmental policies and measures to complement them with further programs and initiatives cantering on women’s protection, sectoral support, family planning and labour force change. 52 measures were taken by the government in response to women’s needs during the crisis. These measures, which have been provided in partnership with the NCW, UN and government bodies, include the creation of a service package with medical protocols and case-referral pathways. This process is ongoing.


The NCW Complaints Office hotline for women has been extended by the government to receive more complaints and offer legal and psychosocial support.

The Ministry of Social Solidarity has intensified its precautionary measures and has published more awareness-raising materials in its 9 women’s shelters. 

Egypt has made COVID-19 specific commitments regarding increasing domestic violence protections but has yet to extend these protections beyond the scope of the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the government committed to raising awareness about gender-based violence and addressing the outcomes of NCW reports on domestic violence.


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Sources


[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Egypt”, (evaw-global-database.unwomen.org).

[3] https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/indepth/2019/3/11/fgm-why-is-egypt-still-worlds-biggest-offender

[4] UN Women, (293)