The importance of the present study stems from the problematic nature of the marital relationships and their societal dimensions that stimulate some wives to murder their husbands with intention. Hence, the question of this study runs so: What are the motives and societal dimensions that stimulate the wives to kill their husbands as mentioned in previous studies. In order to find answers to this main question, the study makes use of the diagnostic and analytical approach. That is to realize the aims of the study and to identify the dimensions of wives' violence in addition to determining the factors that produce violence in the family.

Study Systematic Approach - The main objective of the study is: The Detection of the social dimensions and motives of violence among wives for some models of social heritage.              

The study belongs to descriptive studies. The study used the qualitative method through analysis of the models of previous studies in addition to the analysis of Feminism Approach issues explaining women's crimes. The study relied on the tool of content analysis for several sources, including scientific messages, periodicals and scientific journals, Arab and international to analyze models of previous studies on the objectives of the current study


The mechanisms of cultural socialization in the traditional structure of the third world contribute to the marginalization of some social groups and to the creation of some fissures in the class structure of the society as a result of social mobility in the classes' movement up and down. Women have a great share of the marginalization ( Hegazi 1999, 115 ) because of their great share in illiteracy. Statistics reveal that women amount an illiteracy ratio of 61% in comparison with 29% of the males. The ratios of illiteracy differ according to the demographic dimension where the ratio of women's illiteracy reaches 90% in some rural regions of upper Egypt, specially in the south valley ( Biomy 2006, 486 ). Such case of illiteracy ratios echoes the general case in the Arab countries where 60 millions adult persons are illiterate ( Arab Human Development Report 2002, 47 ), a number that equals 40% of the adults whose majority are poor rural women.

Such high level of women's illiteracy stands as the pivotal point of 'human deprivation', as referred to by the international bank in 2002 which registers that one milliard and a hundred million persons live on one dollar a day all over the world. The share of the Arab countries reaches 8 million illiterate persons of the total of 287 million persons. Most of them are women. Of 800 million persons who suffer 'human deprivation' in the whole world, the Arab countries have 34 million in addition to 100 million who are included under poverty. Egypt in its turn represents the quarter of the Arab countries ( Biomy 2006, 486 ). The reports of the international bank reveal that, in 2008, in Egypt the ratio of poverty reaches 31.4% which equals 24.492 million persons. Those persons

get less than two dollars daily in exchange to their work in the governmental and private sectors. This report emphasizes that the increase in the ratio of poverty in Egypt compared with 2002 in which the ratio amounts 8.5 million persons.

2. The Importance of the Study:

The importance of the present study stems from the problematic nature of the marital relationships and their societal dimensions that stimulate some wives to murder their husbands with intention in the society. The tradition of the dependency of women on men, its being influenced by the system of women's rights in its western version, and the attempts to imitate such western innovation in the local and global satellite mass media result in the loss of the Arab and Egyptian woman of the criteria upon which she determine her rights and responsibilities. This also results in the initiation of some innovative cultural vocabularies that affect the marital relationships in Society, a process that causes the intimate relationships among the married couples to disappear. This takes place in the light of the domination of illiteracy of the Egyptian and Arab woman for example where illiteracy amounts more than 65% in the Arab countries. In addition, illiteracy is coupled with a low standard of self and societal awareness on the part of women. All this leads to put the Arab woman in the row of 'social and psychological deficiency' because of her loss of the economic impendency. Such reasons stand as the motives for some women to murder their husbands who 'either give or deprive' them their social, physical and psychological rights. The kind of deprivation and its level determine the kind of violence directed towards the husband, facts that are observed in the Previous studies. Here lies the main question of the study which is concerned with the investigation of the nature of such motives and the societal dimensions that stimulates a wife to commit a murder of her husband as demonstrated by local and global studies.

3. Scenes of Wives' Violence and the Empirical Studies:

3.1. Local studies:

The scientific work that follow the approach of data collection and analysis of the phenomenon of violence are relatively few in comparison to the theoretical studies which propose ideas, assumptions or theoretical analysis of the phenomenon of violence based on different scientific disciplines. Only 185 out of 208 published works (i.e.88.94%) discussed this phenomenon. Most of these works are articles (Zaiyed 2002, 90-91) that can not be used in the interpretation of the crimes of violence at their applicable level. This shows the need for the Empirical studies to display the dimensions of this phenomenon in the light of global changes and its impact on the local dimension, especially the murder of spouses within the Egyptian society. Therefore, we will introduce the most important social and psychological studies that dealt with various dimensions of this phenomenon during the last twenty years. 3.1.1. Al-Shenawy ( 1988 ): "The Crime of Murder within the Family" This study belongs to the descriptive studies. It aimed to identify the psycho-social aspects of the murders that are committed against family members within the Egyptian society. The study used the content analysis method to verify the queries with regard to crimes of domestic violence published in the newspapers of Al-Ahram and Akhbar Elhawadith ( Crimes News ) from 1983 to 1987. The study finds that women are more inclined to killing their husbands compared to men and that their percentage was (70.3%) of the total crimes that were published. As for the husbands, it is found that the husband/murderer is driven by a desire to get rid of his wife or to revenge. This study also confirms that the highest rates of murder in the family are between husbands and wives. The percentage of the wives who are killed by their husbands estimated 33.7%, including mental patients and addicts of alcohol and drugs. The main motive for the husband to kill his wife is to defend his honor or due to financial and familial disputes.

3.1.2. Wahdan ( 1989 ): "The Social, Psychological and Legal Dimensions of Spouses Murdering." This study tends to reveal the social, psychological and legal dimensions of spouses murdering, and it used the approach of case study. This study is conducted on a sample of ( 33 ) guilty women in Elqanater Elkhairiya Female Prison who were asked to answer a questionnaire. The results show that the main drive for these women to kill their husbands was drugs and alcohol addiction of their husbands , continuous attempts of these husbands to seize the assets of their wives , husbands' inability to spend on their wives , their refusal for any communication between their wives and their family , friends and neighbors , their refusal to divorce their wives and their arbitrary perspectives that their wives are unable to assume any responsibility or to make any decision. 3.1.3. Mahmoud ( 1989 ): "Psychology of Murdering" This study aims to answer the main question that deals with the psychological characteristics of the husband and wife who commit murdering. It uses the clinical approach with a sample of 10 cases (5 men, 5 women) of murderers jailed in Elqanater Elkhairiya Prison ( For Men and Women ). The results of the study show that the marital relationship is characterized by disruption as a result of mutual violence between spouses because of lack of spending, jealousy and suspicion between them.

It also proves that the man who murdered his wife often has a negative and violent relationship with his mother, and he is usually abusive and aggressive to his wife. The study also shows that the wife's betrayal is one of the main factors driving men to murder their wives. For the wives who commit murders, the results of the study prove that the motive for murders has confined to seizure of money and abusive treatment by the husband. 3.1.4. Abd Al-Wahab ( 1994 ): "Sociology of Women Crimes" The study includes 10 cases of wives who murdered their husbands using intensive interviews for data collection. The results show that the majority of women who killed their husbands had been subjected to different patterns of verbal and physical iolence, expulsion from home, husbands' refusal to divorce them. Results of the study also show low economic levels of the couple and their families. In spite of the inclusion of such study within the matrix of social studies, but it does not set a standard for the study sample to identify the samples of research, which is followed by the present study.

3.1.5. Biomy ( 2011 ):"Sociological Analysis of Wives' Violence". The main objective of the study is the observation of wives’ social dimensions and motives of premeditated murder in the Egyptian society.The study depended on the comprehensive social survey method of the General Security Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs specialized in Egyptian society crime statistics from 1985 to 2008 in order to observe crime rates, types and classification (general and family) and comparing them to premeditated murder. There was also the comprehensive social survey method conducted on female murderers in the Kanater Khairia general prison for women area in Egypt in order to determine the ratio of husband killing in proportion to the rest female crimes. Case study method using 'depth interview' was applied to four cases of wives premeditatedly killed their husbands.The field of study was carried out in the period from July 2009 to December 2009 in Al-Qnater Al-Khairia prison for women. The writing down of the report took a period of time from January 2010 to July 2010. The study found that the killings between spouses for the year 2008 has amounted to 31.8% of the total crimes of "murder" in the family, which recorded a rate of 16.4% of the general "murder" in the Egyptian society, which amounted to 42.6% in 2008 of the total crimes and crimes which are considered among the most prominent crimes, which escalated the commission rate compared to previous years ( The Report of Public Security Organization 2008, 11 ). As they hit the crimes of "murder" between husband and wife 25.2%, 17.7%, 17.4%, 26.4%, 22% in the years 2000,2001, 2002, 2003,2004, then started to rise again in 2005, 2006.2007 and amounted to 29 %, 30.4%, 26.4%. The decrease in the tangible killings between spouses, especially in 2001, 2002 is due to the application of the law "divorce" ( Article 20 of the Personal Status Law of 2000 ) ( Al Sharq Al Awsat 2002, 2 ). These statistics emphasize that the social policies issued by the State can limit the commission of murders between spouses.

3.2. Global Studies:

3.2.1. Foster ( 1989 ): " Factor Present When Battered Women Kill"Foster designed a study to identify the factors that drive women to commit murder in general. This study was conducted on a sample of "30" female murderers in one of the British prisons. The percentage of women killing their husbands estimated 65% of the total survey sample. The study used the social sampling survey with a questionnaire consisted of 150 questions. The study also depended on intensive interviews with the examinees. The results of this study show the three basic dimensions of women committing the murder of their husbands: the first dimension refers to husband's addiction of alcohol and drugs which make him unable to face various life situations. The second dimension emphasizes the oppressive treatment of the wife by her husband, the victim.

The third dimension reflects the romantic failure and sexual frustration that women feel due to negligence and betrayal of their husbands. 3.2.2. Stuart et al ( 2006 ): " Psychopathology in Women Arrested for Domestic Violence"

This study aims to monitor reasons of the violence of the wives who are arrested because of their domestic violence, which is described as self-defense against their husbands' violence. The study uses psychological measures and tests conducted on a sample of ( 87 ) guilty women who are listed in treatment programs to reduce their violence. The results shows that most factors and causes that drive women to commit violence against a spouse is revenge for the verbal and physical abuses that they suffer at the hands of their husbands along the psychological dimension, which the study focuses on, that reflects emotional frustration and lack of psychological peace of the examinee as a drive for those women to commit violent actions.

3.2.3. Karin ( 1991 ): "Women Who Kill"

This study raises a key question, "Is Female Murderer guilty or victim?" To investigate this question, the study uses a sample of twenty women who are condemned in crimes of murdering, and it (the study) relsed on in-depth case study method to understand her family life and socialization processes that have been exercised against them, as well as circumstances of the crime. The study finds that 50% of women who kill their husbands are victims of communal factors confined to low level of education, economic and social conditions of her first family and her second family (her life with her husband after marriage) as well, along with the violence they encounter throughout their lives from childhood till the moment they commit this crime of murdering.

3.3. Literature Review: Critical Reading:

Previous global and local studies of murdering depend on psychological and clinical analysis using scientific standards to determine the psychological troubles and motivation to commit murder.

Most studies focus on the murders in the family and deal with husbands , wives and children without regard to the status of the Egyptian women and the global changes that are considered an integral dimension in the perpetration of murder within the family entity in addition to the marginalization of the intimate relationship of marriage, and hence these previous studies lack a social and psychological dimension that does not exist in patterns of family relations and is restricted only to the marital relationship .

Some of the previous studies monitor family murders through the analysis of the content of some national newspapers and thus they ignore the constructive scientific research that depends on the real situation. Results of the content analysis are used as a means to determine the axes of the empirical study and the researched sample in order to explore the factors causing this phenomenon.

Some other studies focus on murders of couples (man and woman) for comparison between them, including the samples of murders that occur as a result of domestic fights and is legally described as (beating to the death), so the penalty ranged from 5 years to 25 years.

Some researches deal with this phenomenon and attribute the murder of wives at inciting her partner in an illicit relationship. The percentage is 50% in a Social Research on "the Sociology of Crime in Women," and therefore penalty is favorable to the act as noted above

4. Feminist Perspective and Woman Crimes:

Feminist liberation movements in the 19th and 20th centuries have resulted in some mental propositions (Walklate 2007, 83-89) based in theory on the liberal, Marxist and critical stream (Carrabine et al. 2009, 68-74) and aim at elimination of women’s slavery and submission to men through making a social change (Swenson 2008, 75-89). Feminine criticisms attack the social theory that follow the masculine thought in its analysis of social issues and phenomena like crime theories which misinterpret women’s criminal behavior and neglect social gender issues ( Abu Zeid et al. 2002, 367 ). Feminist criminal science review four main trends: liberal, radical, socialist and Marxist which were the result of three main feminine movements; the first of which deal with the concepts of gender, race and class, the second with the gender term and the third with sex (Daly 1997, 26-45). The four trends are reviewed as following:

4.1. The Liberal Feminist Stream:

The Liberal Feminist Stream has derived its intellectual perspective from the 18th and 19th century social ideals about issues of freedom and equality, concentrating on liberation from state interference especially in personal matters and demanding ideal equality on the basis of governing basis and criteria such as creative skills and capabilities provided that chances are equally available for men and women to develop their skills. Thus equality in liberation inheritance is based on equality of chances (Abu Zeid et al. 2002, 279-280, Burgess 2006, 29)

Liberal Feminist Stream supporters consider the issue of chance equality a fundamental basis for women’s attaining their civil rights and they think that the reason excluding women in some societies is the denial of their right to have social chances equal to men to enable her to get her social and political rights. They claim that women’s resignation to their being socially marginalized goes back to the social upbringing media with its methods used on the private (family) and public levels ( Ferre 1990, 808 ) where women are brought up to be patient, dependent and blind obedient which means that women are brought up according to traditional social roles (Thompson 1992, 3-18) whereas men brought up according to the principles of rivalry, responsibility, hostility and courage in order to be prepared for the public domain. Thus the social upbringing process turns into an imprisonment of gender and its traditional roles.

4.2. Marxist Feminist Stream:

The Marxist Feminist Stream of studying feminine crimes as a response to the methodology follow the Liberal Feminist Stream which is criticized for its great concentration on the treatment of the anomalous upbringing of women that conclude that the reasons of deviant behaviour go back to individual factors and come as a result of gender roles, but its illustration do not include the historical dimension of the case of inequality between gender roles and structural problems (Burgess et al. 2006, 29-30).

The Marxist Feminist Stream emphasizes that the labor division is based on class and gender which determine the social situation of male and female in society. It holds the capitalistic production responsible for inequality among social classes and between male and female. It also asserts that the bias to men is the result of the ideology of capitalistic relations which form the female position and crimes (Daly 2006, 205-213). We find that when a woman commits a crime, the victims are usually family members or lovers and that she uses household tools like knives. Thus female crimes reflect its low frustrated position in the capital system. That is why the Marxist Feminist Stream supporters see that the structural class conditions in a capital society are the most important factor of male dominance and female oppression which leads in turn to female crimes (Abu Zeid et al. 2002, 383-385).

4.3. Socialist Feminist Stream:

The Socialist Feminist Stream relates female crimes to the overlapping interactive relationships between class and gender that determine the framing of the social organization in human societies through historical stages (Abu Zeid et al. 2002, 388-389). The social status concepts are determined by class. That is why the Socialist Feminist Approach emphasizes the reflections of the mutual effect of the relationship between class and gender on female commitment of crimes which is based on the relationship between capitalism and parental authority which results in gender and class diversity responsible for female criminal behaviour (Burgess et al .2006, 45-47).

4.4. Radical Feminism Stream:

This stream is interested in the violence directed toward women more than its interest in the criminal female behaviour. It depends in its interpretation of violence directed toward women on adjusting power derived from the idea of biological supremacy of men as being more powerful than women. This idea is reflected in sexual violence (incest, rape, pornography). Supporters of this approach see that the inequality in the upbringing of genders goes back to the biological facts which characterize women with submission and men with power (Walklate et al. 2007, 101-104). They also think that the solution includes the creation of a social system which can achieve total equality between men and women and to make programs that contribute to the elimination of deteriorating status of working women, things that would produce a society with less female crimes and less violence from men to women (Al Wrikat et al. 2008, 270-271).

The researcher depends in her interpretation of wife's violence and killing their husbands on feminist approach because it handles many of the issues of the social theory heritage in addition to some environmental specializations which have some background in social sciences and which simulate cases of exploitation, subordination and equality and their reasons. This is illustrated through the following factors:

5. New Approaches:

The feminist approach introduces concepts which dealt with women position in social systems which were ignored by social science theorists such as: Emotionality, Friendship and Tokenism which related to female role in social systems where women are minority and their role is symbolic ( Farag 2003, 126 ). This is explained by the female percentage in decision making circles, the chances open to her in labor market and the definition of her status in the family. Thus presenting a critical model for classic theorists in their dealing with female roles.

5.1. Social Adjustment:

The feminist approach shows the suppressive practices women are exposed to in official and unofficial social upbringing media which determine behaviour patterns, thought structure and emotions and feelings formation in a way that suits the characteristics of female role and is in accordance with her gender. This is carried on by unofficial media. Official social adjustment processes are presented in governmental issued legislations, law application, penal systems and litigation procedures characterized by a lot of inequality between men and women ( Abu Zeid et al. 2002, 390 ) which is clear in developing countries, particularly Arabic countries.

5.2.Gender and Class Struggle:

The feminist model springs from a main idea which is the gender and class division whose referential frame is the patriarchal community where the patriarchal power exerts patterns of male exploitation of women whether as a husband, boss or colleague. The feminist model emphasizes that getting rid of the struggle, suppression, marginalization and exploitation women suffer of through all stages of her life will be achieved only through rebellious change ( Helmi 2003, 94 ) of the class structure in capital societies with its family system based on gender.

5.3. Gender Diversity in Crimes:

Supporters of the feministic approach emphasize the importance of studying female crimes in the light of gender diversity ignored by criminology theorists. The feministic approach depends in its interpretation of female criminal behaviour on understanding the relationship between gender and forms of inequality and restrictions imposed on women and contradictions and duplicity in applying legal and social standards. So she sees that the status quo based on gender is the result of social, cultural and historical powers made by human beings so they can be changes by activists in the human development ( Chafetz 1988, 5 ).

5.4. Frustration and Aggression :

The feminist approach concludes that female crimes are a direct product of inequality and lack of justice and chances in society. All this makes women very poor and socially deprived. In addition, these factors are considered the reason of women’s frustration which makes her violent in her family life because she feels powerless and deprived. From another side, violence among spouses is considered one of the chief means of male’s imposed dominance in the family (Coleman and Cressey 1987, 445-446).

5.5. Relative deprivation :

It is one of the results of the lack of social justice in human societies and the supremacy of the injustice to marginal classes of which women are considered the most deprived due to the high degree of human deprivation she suffers. This deprivation leads to a state of frustration resulting from the lack of satisfaction that might lead her to behave violently as a result of social injustice, inequality and the supremacy of materialistic values.

Despite the fact that the saying of relative deprivation depends on the psychological prospective of Ted Gur, many of the social and political scientists have dealt with it in order to recognize the social and economic situations which influence the violence in society like personal circumstances and accumulation of negative experience in individual lives (Schmid and Albert 1988, 63-64). The relative deprivation is considered one of the results of marginalization policy that women suffer from in human societies and which is classified among feminist criminal science.

The above presentation introduced a theoretical frame which helped to determine the systematic conception of the current study included in the theoretical approach considered as main motives for the analysis of the structural and cultural dimensions of wives’ violence and motives to premeditatedly kill their husbands in the Communities. This theoretical vision was supported by previous local and scientific studies which dealt with “wives violence” which showed the diversities and constants in “wives crimes” according to their cultural and classical affiliations which produce motives of murder in wives in addition to making use of the issues of “feministic perspective” in the analysis of the structure of wives crimes and their motives for their killing their husbands.


The content analysis of previous global and local studies as well as the analysis of theoretical issues and their concepts in the interpretation of women 's crimes emphasizes that :The historical roots of the gender gap emphasizes that women are poorer when compared to men. This is manifested in the fact that two thirds of the poor all over the world are females. There are 900 million females out of a billion poor (males and females) whose income is less than a US dollar per day. They belong to more than one hundred countries in the South which witnessed the reduction of growth rates and the standards of living during the last two decades. On the other hand, 14% of the world population acquired more than three fourths of the world total production (Abd Al-muati 2003, 19-22). This increases the gap between the rich and poor countries and leads to the emergence of some negative social phenomena such as the growth of poverty rates, feminization of poverty, the increasing opportunities of rates of class marginalization and the emergence of social classes and segments within the lower-class social cadres (Abd Al-muati and Alam et al. 2003, 19-22). of anti-feminine socioeconomic opportunities were related to the migration from the matrimonial family system into the patriarchic system. For reasons attributable to biological bias, the class-related structure and internal mingling with it interacted and produced a social and cultural context which has an effect on the roles and prestige of woman and exclusively made her only perform her tradition role (Qenawi 1989, 6-23).

Women's suffering from unemployment, poverty and social marginalization in a manner that exceeds man due to economic, political and cultural accumulations made the alternatives available for men to cope with poverty wider than women's alternatives and opportunities in the society. The severity of such suffering is augmented in the less developed and grown societies on the productive, cultural (Swenson 2008, 73-89, Abd Al-muati and Alam 2003, 22-23) and legislative levels in the light of a value matrix and historical heritages which maximize masculinity and degrade feminism. This matter leads to creating a social environment which facilitates women's perversion and criminal behavior as a result of poverty, social stresses and gender / class differences.