Syria: women victimized by both regime and rebel troops

Egypt worse Arab country for women,Thomson Reuters says

12 November, 18:42

    (ANSAmed) - LONDON - The ongoing Syrian civil war has been devastating for women, according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation report on the condition of women in 22 Arab League member States.
    Syria placed 19th out of 22 in terms of its treatment of women, who are being targeted by both regime and rebel forces, especially the radical Islamist elements among them, the report showed.
    An estimated 3-4,000 women are currently being held in regime prisons, where they are subjected to all kinds of violence, including torture and rape. ''None of them possessed arms or was fighting against government troops'', said Damascus human rights lawyer Anwar al-Bunni.
    Many of the women detainees have allegedly died due to beatings and terrible incarceration conditions, including being held in underground cells with no natural light. Many others are imprisoned along with their small children, the report said.

    According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation study, Egypt is the worst country in the Arab world in which to be a woman,  amongst the 22 Arab League member States. Rights violations, sexual abuse, record numbers of female genital mutilation placed Egypt last, behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the study showed.

    Hopes that the Arab Spring would usher in an improvement in women's rights have been dashed, and indeed the situation has worsened: for example, women's representation in Parliament decreased from 12% to 2% with the abolition of female quotas. Egypt also holds the sad world record in terms of female genital mutilation, with 27.2 million women forced by their families to undergo the surgery. Rape and sexual assaults have also increased, with practically every single woman in the country having been a victim at least once. ''We are talking about women being surrounded by crowds of men in public, having their clothes torn off, being manhandles and sometimes raped'', said Diana Eltahawy from Amnesty International. (ANSAmed)


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