Modest Divorce Law Reforms Cause Concern

By Hammond, Andrew | The Middle East, June 2000 | Go to article overview

Modest Divorce Law Reforms Cause Concern


Hammond, Andrew, The Middle East


Considering how tame the law is, reactions to the controversial amendments to Egypt's personal status laws, passed earlier this year, have been amazing.

The amendments take away a man's right to repudiate his wife simply by filing details of his case with a local marriage registrar, and gives judges, appointed by the new family court authority, the final say in any divorce claim, whether filed by the husband or wife.

According to the new law, in cases where the wife, has sought a divorce, she will have to waive alimony rights and also return her bride price, according to an Islamic precept called khula. However, a more concerning aspect of the law has also come to light in recent months: in some cases, where the husband has bought the marital home outright, on divorce the property must then be returned to him, effectively leaving his former spouse homeless.

This has prompted many human rights activists to question whether the law, however well-meaning, will make an already bad situation worse.

"How can a woman of limited means give back her bride price?" says Magdy Adly of the Nadim Centre, which provides free legal and psychological help to women. "This law serves only the wealthy class." There is unquestionably still a long way to go, especially since, as Adly points out, judges in Egypt -- as yet all male -- sometimes resent granting divorces to women at all. Government statistics put the number of divorce cases filed at about 1.5 million a year, from a population of about 64 million.

Changing laws is one thing but changing attitudes is an altogether trickier business, especially in a country with a largely unpoliticised public like Egypt, where misinformation thrives. Many people have not heard of the new law; others think it is all about allowing women to divorce their husbands at the drop of a hat or to stop them travelling abroad. "The husband will have no control over his wife in the home. Women will control the situation, everything will be in their hands," complained technician Abdel Wahhab Hussein, aged 38. "I'll have a judge interfering between me and my wife," he continued "This law is rubbish because it gives women rights they should not have."

Hussein is by no means alone in his opinions: "The man should be the who dominates because women are rash," said an angry Mohammed Mahmoud, 28, who runs a photography shop. These were typical reactions among men on the streets of Cairo.

Before it was finally approved the law provoked an outcry in parliament -- which has only a handful of female delegates -- and in the press. Newspapers carried cartoons of men in chains, moustachioed wives with downtrodden men at their sides pushing baby buggies, and vampish dames with cigarettes asking for the hand in the marriage of demure-looking males from their shocked fathers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Modest Divorce Law Reforms Cause Concern
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.