Finally: Egypt finalizes law to criminalize child marriages

nsnbc : Ahmad Emad al-Deen, Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population, announced Wednesday that the National Population Council is set to finalize new legislation that will criminalize child marriages.

Child bride_Child engagement_Egypt_Child AbuseAl-Deen said the last preparations were made in coordination with the Ministry of Justice, the Public Prosecution, as well as with the National Council for Women. The Health and Population Minister added that a recent survey showed that some 14.6 percent of the girls married in Egypt are between 15 and 19-years old.

The new law is currently being finalized by the Ministry of Health and will come into effect after it has been vetted by the Presidency and signed by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

In recent weeks, head of the National Council for Women Right,s Maya Morsi called on the parliament to draft a law in order to raise the minimum age of marriage to 21. While the law is welcomed by most secularists, modern non-dogmatic Muslims and women’s rights activists, Maya Morsi’s call for a minimum age of 21 to marry is by many – also by many not conservative Muslims – seen as too restrictive.

Last week, an Imam was referred to an urgent trial because he had married off at least 27 minor girls in Egypt’s al-Mahalla al-Kobra governorate. In the year 2015, 15 percent of all marriages in Egypt were child marriages. Previously, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi warned of child marriage and called on people to adhere to the legal age of marriage. He further described child marriage as unfairness and ruthlessness towards children.

F/AK – nsnbc 13.10.2017

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