December 1, 2004

Divorced from Justice:

Women's Unequal Access to Divorce in Egypt

I. SUMMARY..
II. BACKGROUND...
Women's Status in Egypt
The Egyptian Women's Rights Movement
Egypt's Discriminatory Personal Status Laws
Domestic Violence in Egypt
Absence of Female Criminal Prosecutors and Judges
III. OVERVIEW OF MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE LAWS IN EGYPT..
Entering into Marriage
Divorce Initiated by Men
Divorce Initiated by Women
Fault-Based Divorce
No-Fault Divorce (Khul`)
IV. THE PAINS AND PERILS OF AN UNEQUAL DIVORCE SYSTEM...
Compulsory Mediation
Discriminating between Women: Judicial Discretion and Socio-Economic Status
Obedience Laws
Unenforceable Court Rulings
V. DISCRIMINATORY CONSEQUENCES OF UNEQUAL DIVORCE..
The Hidden Consequence: Bargaining away Rights to Avoid the Fault-Based Divorce Process
Precarious Housing and Custody Rights
Inaccessible Social Assistance
VI. CONDEMNING WOMEN TO A LIFE OF VIOLENCE..
Discriminatory Divorce Laws and Violence against Women
Inadequate Shelters
VII. INADEQUATE GOVERNMENT RESPONSE..
The Limits of Khul`
The Family Insurance System Fund
The Establishment of New Family Courts
VIII. EGYPT'S OBLIGATIONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW...
IX. CONCLUSION...
X. RECOMMENDATIONS
To the Egyptian Parliament
To the Ministry of Justice
To the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs
To the Donor Community
To the World Bank and other International Lending Institutions
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS