Equality Now has just issued an Urgent alert on draft legislation in Egypt which would lower the minimum age of marriage and could be voted on at any moment.
Egypt’s People’s Assembly Council is currently discussing legislation that would reduce the minimum age of marriage for girls from 18 to possibly as low as 9 years old and could vote on the final draft bill at any moment. If adopted, girls could be married off by their families without their consent putting them at risk of physical and psychological harm, as well as cutting short other life opportunities, such as pursuing their education. Such measures make Egyptian women, including the umbrella organization Alliance for Egyptian Women, fearful that their rights are being rapidly eroded post-revolution.
Other draft legislation limiting a mother’s access to her children upon divorce and the reported denunciation in Parliament of the 2008 ban on female genital mutilation (FGM), are giving Egyptian women cause for extreme concern.
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