At the vigil, men and women gathered to show solidarity and call for change. AFP / ANWAR AMRO
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The murder of Rebecca Dykes this month turned a spotlight on to male violence against women in Lebanon, with activists noting that the crime was not an isolated incident in the country where gender-based violence is widely underreported.Women's rights organization KAFA (Enough) Violence and Exploitation recorded 20 gender-based murder cases over the course of 2017, including five killings in the past few weeks alone.A forensic examiner in Dykes' case noted that it was the first time he had handled a case of murder and sexual assault in Lebanon where the victim was a Westerner.Dykes' case also stands out in that her suspected killer was a stranger to her. Lebanese national Maya Haj Hasan, 23, questioned whether swift justice would have been served if Dykes had been Lebanese.KAFA estimates that about one migrant worker is reported to commit suicide monthly, but it is a widespread belief that many suicide cases are in fact murders that were never investigated.Dykes' case has reignited a national conversation about gender-based violence and the need for more attention to be paid to the "structural oppression" of women.
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