By Staff Reporter
The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS), in condemning the murder of a mother and her nine-year-old daughter, and the attempted murder of her 14-year-old son last week by the woman’s ex husband, said on Monday that between 2004 and 2013, more than 30 women in Cyprus has been killed by men.
“This number translates to three murders women a year,” said MIGS. It said in Cyprus, the murder of women was construed as a private matter and not a political one, as it should be in a society supposedly based on human rights.
“This systematic male violence against women and girls in our country is a phenomenon that has its roots in the unequal relations in power and control between the sexes,” MIGS said.
It criticised the use of the terms ‘family tragedy’ and ‘family dispute, when the real problem was an issue of ‘gender violence’, a phenomenon based on the concept of marriage and the patriarchal family.
In its statement, MIGS slammed the “apathetic attitude of Cypriot society on hearing of the murders of women”, which it said only served to maintain the status quo when it came to violence against women.
The group calls on the justice minister for Cyprus to sign and ratify the Convention of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence – the Istanbul Convention – which is a single international instrument that provides protection , prevention, prosecution and policy in the field of combating violence against women.
It also called on the Equality Commission to consult directly with civil society to formulate and implement strategies to tackle male violence against women.
The state must also strengthen and implement interdepartmental procedures for handling such incidents, MIGS said.
Last Wednesday afternoon, Andreas Pittis, 41, used a military-issue G3 rifle to shoot his estranged wife Margarita, 35, through the front windshield of her car as she sat in the driver’s seat. The car was parked outside his parent’s home in Strovolos.
The two children tried to run but Pittis gunned down his small daughter in the street and then chased his son to a nearby plot where Pittis shot him twice from behind, injuring the boy in the lungs and leg. Standing over his son’s body, Pittis then took his own life.
The boy is currently at Nicosia General in a stable condition.