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Saturday, March 17, 2012

No Divorce for Women

If an Egyptian woman asks her husband for a divorce and he refuses, she can appeal to the judge to get a divorce (khul3) if she gives back to the husband the marriage settlement: i.e. is she gives up her financial rights. Only women who could afford to do that benefited from this. Even they had to to face legal obstacles and unsympathetic courts.

But the Islamists in the Egyptian parliament want to make sure this crumb of a law is repealed: they argue it encourages women to get divorces and ruin the Muslim family. Only men should have the that exclusive right. Although it is based on Islamic laws, they reject it as unIslamic. They tarnish it by associating it with Susan Mubarak, the wife of deposed Husni Mubarak--a strategy they will be using to dismantle whatever few rights Egyptian women won with long had work (not with the largess of rulers). 

Is anybody surprised?


Anonymous said...

I have tried to follow what is happening, are women's rights diminishing in the so called "Arab Spring"?

Amal A said...

Women's rights are being contested which is not surprising. This is a time of change and upheaval and many forces will try to pass their own agendas. If we expect an easy happy ending we will set up ourselves for disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Why don't these corrupted Islamists start following God's words and true deen of Islam found in Quran instead of making up their own rules, and using man-made hadeeth written 200 years after Muhammed's death? Where are the Egyptian men and women who are prepared to speak out about the corruption that has occurred within Islam through raising the man-made hadeeth to be more important than God's words in Quran?

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Anonymous said...

We need more blog posts! I hope you are inspired to write soon. There is certainly a lot going on to write about but I understand the subject matters can be at times, depressing.

Also, not a big deal, but you have a typo--"...won with long hard* work."

As a end note: I did not/do not consider Susan Mubarak to be a non-progressive woman. Personally, I felt that Egypt needed more women like Susan Mubarak. With the "revolution", women have simply taken 10 steps back. But that's just my opinion....Hope to see you blogging soon.

Anonymous said...

I guess this is a "gift" of the wonderful Arab Spring? I wonder if a teacher would be allowed to have done this under Mubarak?

LUXOR, Egypt (AP) — A teacher in southern Egypt was convicted of child abuse Tuesday and given a six-month suspended sentence, after she cut the hair of two schoolgirls for not wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf.

The incident last month in the village of Qurna drew criticism from rights groups and local officials. The case is part of a larger debate in Egypt — the state of personal and religious freedoms following the rise of Islamist political movements.

Eman Abu Bakar, the ultraconservative teacher, wears a niqab, which leaves only her eyes visible. She was initially transferred to another school as a rebuke. Then the father of one of the girls and a national center for children's rights filed a complaint, accusing the teacher of abuse.

Abu Bakar told local papers at the time that she resorted to cutting the girls' hair only after warning them repeatedly to cover their heads.

The court also fined the teacher $8.

Most Muslim women in Egypt wear the traditional headscarf, but there is no legal requirement to do so. With the rise of Islamists to power following the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak last year, many less religious Egyptians feared the Islamists, particularly the more radical groups, would push to impose a stricter social and dress code.

Disputes over the role of Islam in the country's new constitution continue, pitting Christians and secular groups against Islamists seeking to increase the role of Islamic content in the charter, which is now being written.

The incident involving the girls and a series of court cases accusing Christians and non-observant Muslims of insulting religion have raised concerns about freedom of expression and religion.

Amal, your thoughts? Is the Arab Spring a good thing for the Arab world?

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