Lebanese NGO alarm at spate of deadly domestic violence

A protest in Beirut calling for an end to domestic violence in 2015
AFP

Beirut (AFP) – A Lebanese man fatally shot his wife in Beirut Monday, the latest in a string of murders a rights group said showed much work remained to eradicate violence against women.

A law on domestic violence was passed by Lebanon’s parliament in 2014 but watchdogs said many changes were still needed.

A man shot his wife in the central Ras al-Nabaa neighbourhood of Beirut on Monday, the national news agency reported, adding that the killer was on the run.

Also on Monday, another Lebanese man was arrested after stabbing his wife in a village in the south, the same source reported. The woman survived the attack.

The latest violence brought to eight the number of deadly cases of violence against women since the start of December, according to Kafa, a watchdog advocating for gender equality in Lebanon.

A total of 17 cases were recorded last year in Lebanon, a country of around four million inhabitants, including those of women killed by their husbands but also that of a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after a forced marriage.

In a high-profile case last month, Briton Rebecca Dykes, who worked for the UK Department for International Development at the embassy in Beirut, was killed by a taxi driver who tried to rape her.

Kafa’s spokesperson Diala Haidar said recent improvements to the legal framework were failing to challenge “a society dominated by a machismo and that justifies violence against women.”

“Working against this mentality and preventing the justification of violence against women is the hardest thing,” she said.

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