Domestic violence against women still increases despite a 44.9% record of cases reported in 2014

29 Nov 2016

Domestic violence against women still increases despite a 44.9% record of cases reported in 2014

Violence against women is a violation of human rights. According to a global review of the 2013 data available, 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence. Women in Guinea-Bissau suffer from various types of violence, and female genital mutilations and early marriages are the most frequent, even after the promulgation of a related law in 2014.

According to 2014 MICS, 44.9% of women aged 15-49 years were submitted to one form or another of female genital mutilation. And according to the latest report of the Guinean League for Human Rights (LGDH), from 2013 to 2015, 1000 cases of violence against women were reported.

According to the League, this is fundamentally due to the historical discrimination to which they have always been subjected in all areas of social life. Basic equality and basic juridical positions have always been denied to women and continue to be so in various segments of Guinean society, including access to education, health, the judicial system, inheritance, land.

The Judicial Police has also seen an increase in domestic violence, especially cases of sexual abuse and forced marriages. In 2015 the Brigade of women and minors of the judicial police examined 25 cases of domestic violence, 18 forced marriages.

Domestic violence cases are growing in the Quinara region, according to the population.

"There are people who beat their wives to the point of breaking their arm and even beat their brothers' wives, beat up women, that's very serious. We have many women who are tortured daily. Our girls are subjected to forced marriage. Recently, a girl was loved from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and was pushed that same night to get married "lamented Formosinho da Costa.

"Less than a week ago, we witnessed a case of domestic violence in the village of Gubía, where the nephew beat his aunt with machete and nearly killed her, leaving her with deep wounds on her body. These cases are frequent in the Quinara region and it is very worrying and we know that there is a law that criminalizes domestic violence but in practice it is not being complied with and this is encouraging more violence," said Cesário da Silva.

Victims who suffer from these practices "are afraid to make complaints, and if it is a case between husband and wife, the woman is often afraid because if she denounces she may lose her marriage and this forces the victims to hide," said Bacar Djassi.

For more than a decade and a half, the National Network to Combat Gender-based Violence (RENLUV) has been working to defend the victims of domestic violence in Guinea-Bissau. This organization works in partnership with the Women and Children's Institute, the Committee for Abandonment of Negligent Practices, and the United Nations system, particularly UNFPA.

Its president, Aissatu Injai, regrets the weak implementation of the domestic violence law promulgated in 2014, and Aissatu Injai regrets that despite many awareness raising actions, more needs to be done. "Because it is a behavior change situation and it is in progress, and you do not see the results when you do only one activity, and you have to do a lot of them, follow up, evaluate them and define new strategies," she explained.

In their view, these are the reasons for the poor knowledge of this law in the Guinean society, and the institutions working in this field face enormous technical and financial difficulties.

UNIOGBIS has provided technical and financial support to civil society organizations and the government to combat gender-based violence through capacity building and community awareness activities.

25 November is marked as the international day for the elimination of violence against women that marks the beginning of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence throughout the country, a day to discuss the situation of rights and gender equality. All UN entities are involved in this activity in partnership with the government of Guinea-Bissau.