A STUDY has proven that there is violence against women within the family in Qatar. The survey, conducted by Kaltham al-Ghanem of the Social Department at Qatar University, sampled 2,778 QU female students, comprising 84% of Qataris and 16% of other nationalities, aged between 17 and 25 years.
The survey is the first scientific study on violence in Qatar, the result of which will be used to advocate and explore the necessity of enacting legislation on violence against women in the country, sources said.
Speaking to Gulf Times about the findings of the survey at a round table on violence against women in the Qatari family, al-Ghanem said the results reveal that most of the violence against females emanate from within the family, particularly from male members like brother, uncle and father.
“The essence of this workshop is to create awareness that there is violence within the family here, because most females are not even aware that they are victims of domestic violence. We want them to know and speak out,” she said.
Al-Ghanem said that 63% of those surveyed were found to be victims of beating, while 52 cases of “strong violence” like rape and about 120 cases of sexual harassment were recorded.
“During the course of study, I discovered that women’s cultural values are affected because they accept the violence and did not speak about it in public; they kept it to themselves,” she said.
According to her findings, some 50 women have tried to commit suicide due to this “culture of silence” among the victims.
In his presentation, the Supreme Council of Family Affair (SCFA) secretary general Abdulla bin Nasser al-Khalifa said that the council is considering an initiative for suggestions on policy or legislation that can contribute to the family and maintain its rights and dignity.
He described violence against women as violence against human rights, adding that it threatened the unity of the family.
“We must address domestic violence in a transparent way and take time to study the reasons why it occurs within the family,” he added.
Al-Khalifa added that the council was devoting efforts toward combating domestic violence within the family, especially now that it is difficult to hide from public glare as the world emerges as a global village.
Speaking to Gulf Times, SCFA Women’s Department Noor A al-Malki said the council has been involved in the study of violence against women and children since its establishment.
“We’ve been directed by HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser al-Misnad to look into this subject by establishing an organization for the protection of women and children,” she said.
A round table will discuss the need for a special law for the protection against family violence today, al-Malki added.
Source: Gulf Times