KhulÔ Divorce in Egypt: Public Debates, Judicial Practices, and Everyday Life

KhulÔ Divorce in Egypt: Public Debates, Judicial Practices, and Everyday Life

AUC Press

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Nadia Sonneveld

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Egyptian women gained the unique right to divorce their husbands unilaterally through a procedure called khulÔ. This has been a controversial application; notwithstanding attempts to present the law as being grounded in Islamic law, opponents claim that khulÔ is a privileged womenÕs law, and a western conspiracy aimed at destroying Egyptian family life and, by extension, Egyptian society.
In KhulÔ Divorce in Egypt, Nadia Sonneveld explores the nature of the public debatesÑincluding the portrayal of khulÔ in films and cartoonsÑwhile an examination of the application of khulÔ in the courts and everyday life relates and compares this debate to the actual implementation of the procedure. She makes it clear that the points of controversy bear little resemblance to the lives of the lower-middle-class women who apply for khulÔ; they merely reflect profound changes in the institutions of marriage and family.


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