Cairo: An Egyptian lawmaker has proposed a
controversial draft law to limit the legal provisions for
women to divorce or separate from their husbands.
Mohamed al-Omda, deputy head of the People`s Assembly`s
Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, has
submitted the draft to cancel a woman`s right to divorce
(Khula) or separate from her husband, privately-owned
Al-Shorouk newspaper reported today.
Khula is the right of a woman in Islam to divorce or
separate from her husband.
In the bill`s explanatory memorandum, Omda said women`s
right to divorce through courts was granted to satisfy the
National Council for Women (NCW), which was chaired by former
first lady Suzanne Mubarak, allegedly to save women from
persecution in eastern countries.
Sharia has been under siege since then, Omda claimed.
In 2000, the parliament issued a law on the regulation of
litigation procedures in personal status matters.
The law applied Sharia, in which the woman can obtain a
divorce if she returns the financial settlement her husband
paid her when they married. If a husband refuses to divorce
his wife, the woman has the right to petition a judge in order
to obtain to a divorce.
This law applies only to Muslim women as Christian women
have a separate personal status law.
In recent months, the Muslim Brotherhood`s Freedom and
Justice Party has launched an attack on laws regulating
personal status in the country.
They accuse the NCW of implementing Western strategies to
spoil the family and social life in Egypt.
Last week, a number of Islamist MPs criticised the Khula
law and the law regulating child custody, saying they