Egypt divorce made easier



By Mark Huband in Cairo

Financial Times, 28 January 2000


Egypt’s parliament yesterday approved legislation that allows women to secure a divorce more easily, but only after the government withdrew a clause from the legislation that was to have allowed them to travel abroad without their husband’s permission.

Despite expectations that the law would respond to growing pressure among professional women for improved legal status, the reformed divorce law is still regarded as draconian by advocates of women’s rights. The original bill, which was condemned in a press campaign and was only passed by the male-dominated parliament after drastic amendments, had allowed women to seek divorce on the basis of “incompatibility”. It was approved only after an amendment allowed arbitrators from the couples’ families to decide if they were incompatible. In many cases, these would be the people who arranged the original marriage.


© Financial Times