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Egyptian Women Test New Divorce Law

Egypt’s new law making it easier for a woman to divorce their husbands took effect today. Twenty women, an unprecedented number, took advantage of the new law in its first day and filed for divorce in Cairo. Egypt’s Parliament voted in January to give women the option to file for divorce before a judge based on incompatibility. Under the previous code, a woman had to prove that her husband psychologically or physically abused her. Complaints were often dismissed by judges and the rulings usually went against the women. If a divorce was granted, the husband could appeal the ruling indefinitely. Under the new code, women seeking a divorce are given a three-month period to attempt reconciliation and six months if children are involved. If the women have not changed their minds after the reconciliation period, the divorce is granted.

Sources:

Nando Times - March 1, 2000, and The New York Times - March 1, 2000