Carthage Palace - Tunis - Thursday February 27, 2020: Tunisian justice Minister Thouraya Jeribi. Tunisia's women, childhood and family affairs Minister Asma al-Suhairi says her department will work with that country's department of justice to enforce the 2017 law to fight gender-based violence. File picture: Fethi Belaid/Pool via AP
Carthage Palace - Tunis - Thursday February 27, 2020: Tunisian justice Minister Thouraya Jeribi. Tunisia's women, childhood and family affairs Minister Asma al-Suhairi says her department will work with that country's department of justice to enforce the 2017 law to fight gender-based violence. File picture: Fethi Belaid/Pool via AP

Tunisia sees five-fold increase in violence against women, amid lockdown - minister

By Chelsea Lotz Time of article published Mar 31, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - Tunisia's women, childhood and family affairs Minister Asma al-Suhairi says there has been a sharp increase in domestic violence since the lockdown in Tunisia.

The five-fold increase of domestic violence cases has prompted Tunisia's government to launch a 24-hour hotline for victims of gender-based violence the Ashrq Al-awsat news agency says.

The restriction of movement amid the coronavirus pandemic has caused growing concerns about extending the lockdown in the northern African country. 

In 2017, Tunisia passed a law in the fight against gender-based violence, with the establishment of eight shelters for victims of domestic abuse. Authorities since increased support in more remote areas of Tunisia to prevent violence against women.

The minister told media that in cooperation with the justice ministry, the law would be enforced and that it may result in aggressors being forced out of the house to protect women and their children.

However, activists have taken to social media to protest against lack of protection for women, when confined in their homes with an abusive partner. 

Tunisia is not the first country to experience a sharp increase in domestic violence, and in particular, violence against women. Reports of domestic violence have also been on the rise in China, Brazil and Italy.

They point out that although modern laws have sought to protect women, tradition has outweighed law, putting women around the globe in the path of abuse, as confined space takes its toll.

African News Agency (ANA)

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