Human Rights Watch releases a new report on Egypt’s unequal divorce law:
Men in Egypt have a unilateral and unconditional right to divorce. They never need to enter a courtroom to end their marriages. Women, on the other hand, must resort to the courts to divorce their spouses, where they confront countless social, legal and bureaucratic obstacles. Women who seek divorce in Egypt have two options: fault-based or no-fault divorce. In order to initiate a fault-based divorce, which can provide full financial rights, a woman must show evidence of harm inflicted by her spouse during the course of their marriage. Even physical abuse often needs to be supported by eyewitness testimony. Since 2000, Egyptian women have had the option of filing for no-fault divorce (khula). But to do so, they must agree to forfeit their financial rights and repay the dowry given to them by their husbands upon marriage. Adopted as a way to speed up the divorce process, no-fault divorce still requires women to petition the court to terminate their marriages.