Poll: 63 percent of Egyptians against verbal divorce

An Egyptian couple stands on a bridge overlooking the Nile River in downtown Cairo.

At least 63 percent of Egyptians are against undocumented verbal divorce, in which Muslim men may divorce their wives without going through a court of law, a new poll has shown.

The survey showed that only 16 percent support undocumented divorce and 21 percent said they are undecided, a poll conducted by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera).

Data analyzed from the survey revealed the phenomenon was rejected more among women compared to men, with 67 percent of females surveyed saying they were against the common practice, compared to 60 percent of men.

In Febraury, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stirred controversy when he called on al-Azhar – Egypt’s top Islamic authority – to approve the issuance of a new law tightening divorce procedures for Muslims, including the annulment of verbal divorce.

As per Egyptian law, a Muslim husband can divorce his wife through uttering the words, “I, hereby, divorce you.” The divorce can occur in the absence of the wife and without her knowledge. He may initiate and conclude all the divorce procedures himself, while she may only be informed during the final stages.


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