Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Home World Egypt: Sharp criticism over law change limiting women’s rights

Egypt: Sharp criticism over law change limiting women’s rights

About 50 women’s organisations in Egypt have printed an announcement laying out fundamental rules relating to women’s authorized rights amid rising controversy over a proposed invoice to amend the nation’s private standing law.

The assertion, which was additionally signed by greater than 100 people, got here in response to native media reviews that the Egyptian parliament will talk about a invoice aimed toward altering women’s rights and tasks round divorce and marriage.

The signatories agreed that 5 fundamental rules should be protected, together with that any modification should depend on the Egyptian structure and human rights rules at its core.

It additionally referred to as on lawmakers to make sure the law regarded girls as having full authorized capability, thereby giving them equal rights and duties inside household law as males.

Regarding marriage, the assertion mentioned the law ought to be certain that divorce is legalised solely by a choose and that polygamy be allowed solely by a choose’s authorisation following permission from a person’s first spouse.

Finally, it referred to as for guaranteeing the safety of kids’s rights and pursuits as a authorized obligation and precedence in case of household conflicts.

‘Back 200 years’

The Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights (ECWR), which signed the assertion, mentioned in a press launch final month it rejected the articles of the draft law as a result of they had been unjust and regressive of their method to non-public standing points.

It stays unclear if the reported invoice was obtained by parliament.

“We completely reject this shocking draft law. It takes us back 200 years,” mentioned Nehad Aboul Komsan, chairwoman of ECWR, in a video assertion final week.

“In Egypt, we have female ministers in all fields. These women can sign contracts on behalf of the state worth millions of dollars, but under this law, they wouldn’t even have the right to contract their own marriages unless they were previously married,” mentioned Aboul Komsan, who can be a lawyer.

“And if they did, a male guardian can file a legal request to annul the marriage contract if he so wishes,” she added.


The invoice was introduced to parliament final yr, sparking broad debate and controversy amongst members of parliament and the general public.

Unable to succeed in a consensus, parliamentarians agreed in September final yr that any additional debate can be postponed.

Although the general public debate across the matter has since died down, current media reviews sparked a brand new controversy over the character of the amendments.

While some women’s organisations mentioned just a few of the proposed articles would possibly deliver constructive modifications, they imagine most are regressive and unfair to girls on the subject of marriage, divorce and guardianship over kids.

The predominant articles which were welcomed by rights teams embrace amendments that reportedly name for imposing a hefty high quality and as much as a yr in jail on a person if he marries multiple spouse at a time, and does so with out notifying his first spouse.

A high quality and jail time may be imposed on any official who authorises such a wedding.

While human rights advocates welcomed this change, they mentioned it diverted consideration from different extra controversial features of the invoice.

Among them is an article that reportedly permits a girl’s male guardian to file a lawsuit requesting the annulment of a wedding inside the first yr if he deems the 2 events incompatible, or if the dowry was unsatisfactory.

The proposed law additionally reportedly stipulates {that a} single mom who has guardianship over her kids from a earlier marriage should obtain written permission from her ex-husband if she needs to journey.

She should additionally search comparable authorisation from the kids’s father almost about any authorized choices regarding her kids. The law doesn’t stipulate comparable restrictions on males.

Rights activists have referred to as for the modification of the invoice, saying it fails to recognise women’s full authorized capability, her proper to decide on her personal partner, and diminishes her company and rights.

Rights activists are additionally calling for the modification of kid custody legal guidelines to allow a girl who remarries after her divorce to take care of custody over her kids from a earlier marriage.

Currently, Egyptian law stipulates that if a girl remarries, custody of her kids from a earlier marriage is transferred to the kids’s father or grandmother.

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Updated on April 13, 2021 3:11 am

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