Saturday, December 12, 2015

Regarding that 50,000 LE marriage decree thing

On Tuesday, Egypt’s minister of justice Ahmed El-Zend was the talk of the town after issuing a decree that obliges foreigners who want to marry Egyptian women to present investment certificates worth LE 50,000 in the wife’s bank account if the age difference between the two “exceeds 25 years”.
Minister of Justice Ahmed El-Zend 

This decree targets specifically the underage marriages between Egyptian poor girls and wealthy Gulf men. It is common in summer and unfortunately, it has been spread for years if not decades especially rural areas. It is like an ugly sex trade that spread due to poverty.

Now realistically speaking, this decree won’t prevent or slow down the marriage of underage poor Egyptian girls and old Gulf men in the real world.

The LE 50,000 are equal to  USD 6,395 for God’s sake. Any wealthy man can afford this sum of money especially with dying situation of the Egyptian pound.

Many of those marriages between old Gulf men and underage Egyptian brides from the countryside are Urfi marriages or unregistered marriages.
They do not go to Mogammu El-Tahrir to get married as the law says because after all it is temporarily marriage.

They do not register them officially because they are illegal marriages in the end of the day.
Also in many of those marriages, the father of the bride who actually sells his daughter falsify her age to become older. It is a well-known trick.

Maybe, it is better to solve the problem from the roots taking radical steps in fighting poverty.

Needless to say, the decree created a huge anger among feminists and NGOs working on that file knowing that it won’t stop marriages nor it will protect for real the rights of those girls.

Also, many Egyptians felt it was like an insult to the Egyptian women because the decree made the government or rather the state offers the Egyptian women for sale in return of a cheap price.

By the way, this decree issued by the controversial minister of justice is not a new thing.

Already in 2003, a law was issued stipulating that foreign men who want to marry Egyptian women to present investment certificates worth  LE 40,000 in the wife’s bank account if the age difference between the two exceeds 30 years.

El-Zend lowered the age difference and increased the value of investment certificates.

Anyhow, summer 2016 is coming and we will see if that amendment in the law will save the poor girls in rural areas or not. 

1 comment:

  1. Good for you Zenoiba, for making this an issue worth much investigation. I hope and pray for the young girls in Egypt, both today and all their tomorrows :(


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