O (AFP) - Almost half of married Egyptian women have been physically abused by their husbands, a study by the government statistics centre said on Wednesday.
The study by CAPMAS said that 47 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 reported being victims of domestic violence and seven percent said a spouse raped them, state news agency MENA reported.
Domestic violence is punishable under Egyptian law, but police are reluctant to intervene in something that is considered a private matter, said an Egyptian women's rights activist.
"If a woman complains, it would be considered a crime. But if she doesn't, the husband won't be punished," Nahed Abu el-Qumsan, head of the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights, told AFP.
The study was released to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) published in April said that violence by men against spouses routinely resulted in troubled or aborted pregnancies, chronic pain and depression.
Women who had been physically or sexually abused were three times likelier to have had suicidal thoughts, and four times likelier to have attempted at least once to take their own lives, the study said.