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JUSTICE FOR ALL

 Women's Right to divorce

Recently a law permitting Egyptian women to file for divorce on grounds of incompatibility has been received as welcome news by many abused women, who are trapped in unhealthy marriages, while some perceived it as a call for breaking homes and a right, a woman shouldn't have.  Please read the following reports by different news agencies and if you wish, you can post your opinion by clicking on The Forum link above.
Egypt DivorceBroken Vows Egyptian Women Allowed Divorce Option

Aziza Abdel Moneim, pictured here with her two children, is the second woman to file for divorce in Egypt. (ABCNEWS.com)

click on the image to view a video report

C A I R O, Egypt, June 6 — Aziza Abdel Moneim is a very happy — and soon to be free — woman.
    
The mother of two, who has been married for 11 years to a man she claims has systematically abused and beaten her for most of that time, is the second woman in Egypt to file for divorce.
     A new law, known as “Khula,” allows women for the first time to unilaterally request a divorce.
     Before the Khula law was passed, Aziza would file for divorce after each fight. But her efforts were in vain because her husband would never agree.
     “We used to disagree, have a fight take and I’d take my daughter and go to my mother,” Aziza said. “But my parents would tell me I had to go back, I could not stay like this, neither married nor divorced.”
     Under Egypt’s old divorce law, a woman had to prove to judges — all of whom are men in Egypt — that she had been battered, while her husband could appeal endlessly. And Egyptian men have always been able to get a divorce in as little as 10 minutes, just by signing a sheet of paper.
     Now, the equality gap is narrowing. Neither her husband nor the judge can deny a woman a divorce if she wants one. And she can be granted her freedom just three months after filing for divorce.

Relationships May Improve
And the new law may even improve relationships between men and women.
     “Women feel more secure in their relationships with their husbands and husbands are now careful about how they treat their wives because they cannot get away with mistreatment,” said Mona Zulfiqar, a lawyer and member of the Egyptian National Council of Women.
     But the new law can be expensive. A woman who requests a divorce must repay her husband any money he brought to the marriage and forgo alimony, which can be difficult for those who are poor. But for women like Aziza, it’s a small price to pay.
     “This law is beautiful and a very courageous step taken here. Now we have to give up our financial rights, before we used to give up our dignity,” she said. “I lost 10 years waiting for something I couldn’t get without this law. But my daughter will grow up knowing she has it.” 

ABCNEWS' Gerry Holmes and Hoda Abdel-Hamid contributed to this report.

click here to review a related report by US News online

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