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Draft law would require men to prove eligibility before marriage

A women's rights organization has put forward a draft law on personal affairs that would require men to supply proof of the eligibility to a court before getting married.

According to the draft law prepared by the Centre for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance, a man wishing to get married would have to “file a court request attesting to his financial and health eligibility for marriage.”

In the same court session, according to the document, men would also be required to declare whether they planned to marry more wives in the future, with the bride maintaining the right to win a court-sanctioned divorce if he does so.

Islam allows men to have a maximum of four wives.

“Our objective is a law that protects everybody and that simply stands up for those who have rights to claim, without violating Islamic Sharia or the Egyptian Constitution,” the center said in its statement on Monday.

The document also stipulates that divorced couples should divide the wealth they amassed during their marriage, excluding any wealth the owned or generated before the marriage.

Gawaher al-Taher, the center’s director for judicial accessibility, said the organization has embarked on a six-month media campaign to promote amendments to the 1920 personal status law. The campaign will include documentaries that highlight problems with the current law.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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