Farida Deif, Middle East and North Africa researcher for the Womens Rights Division, authored this report based on research conducted by Farida Deif and Womens Rights Division consultant Miranda Sissons in Egypt in June and July 2004. LaShawn R. Jefferson, executive director of the Womens Rights Division; Joe Stork, Washington director of the Middle East and North Africa Division; Zama Coursen-Neff, senior researcher in the Childrens Rights Division; James Ross, senior legal advisor; and Joseph Saunders, deputy director of the Program Office, reviewed the report.
The Womens Rights Division gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the many individuals, government officials, and institutions in Egypt who were instrumental in our efforts to investigate womens access to divorce. Special thanks go to the Center for Egyptian Womens Legal Assistance (CEWLA); the Nadim Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence; the Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women; and the Egyptian Organization for Womens Rights (EOWR). We would like to specifically extend our warmest gratitude to Azza Suleiman, director of CEWLA; `Aida Seif al-Dawla and Amal `Abd al-Hamid, director and attorney, respectively, of the Nadim Center; Rehab al-Mezzeini and Muntasir Muhammad, senior donor officer and attorney, respectively of ADEW; and Ihab Nagy, attorney at the EOWR who generously shared their unique knowledge of Egypts divorce system and helped us organize dozens of interviews. We also greatly appreciate the insightful comments on this report provided by Diane Singerman.
Nayla Chacra, intern with the Womens Rights Division, provided valuable research assistance. Erin Mahoney, Elizabeth Morrow, Tarek Radwan, Mohamed Abdel Dayem, Andrea Holley, Fitzroy Hepkins, and José Martinez provided production assistance.
Most of all, Human Rights Watch wishes to thank all the individuals in Egypt who agreed to be interviewed for this report. We particularly thank the courageous women who were willing to speak to us of their experiences, without whom this report would not have been possible.
We acknowledge with gratitude the financial support of the Dobkin Family Foundation, the Moriah Fund, the Oak Foundation, the Streisand Foundation, the Schooner Foundation, the Lisbet Rausing Trust, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Libra Foundation, and the members of the Advisory Committee of the Womens Rights Division.