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April 11, 2006
A Quarter Of Syrian Wives Get No Quarter

A United Nations study reveals that 25% of all married Syrian women have been beaten by their husbands, the New York Times reports this morning:

Syria's first comprehensive field study of violence against women has concluded that nearly one married woman in four surveyed had been beaten. The study was released last week as part of a report on Syria by the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

The findings have been published in local news media, helping to draw attention to topics, like domestic abuse and honor killings, that have long been considered taboo in this conservative society.

The study was carried out under the supervision of the quasi-governmental General Union of Women, which oversees the welfare of Syria's women. The study included nearly 1,900 families, selected as a random sample, including a broad range of income levels and all regions. The men and women in each family were questioned separately.

Syria is one of the more secular of the Arab nations, and Syrian women do have more latitude than their sisters did in Afghanistan under the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia now. However, the chattel culture remains strong throughout Arabic nations, and this demonstrates one of the predictable results. I'm surprised it wasn't higher, and it's possible that the nature of the study led to underrepresentation.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 11, 2006 7:16 AM

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