In this article I reconstruct the public debate which took place in Egypt during 1995 over a proposal for a new standard marriage contract. The proposed marriage contract, promoted by a group of feminists, was to include stipulations, most of which supported the interests of the wife, such as her right to study, to work, and to function in the public sphere, and her right to a better status within the marriage bond. In studying the obstacles that the proposal faced, I analyse the interests of the groups that were involved in the debate: on the one hand, a secular-rationalistic group, supported by the state along with a large segment of the educated élite and, on the other, a traditional-religious group. Since this proposal is one event in a long-term battle over Egypt's cultural orientation, this essay seeks to shed light on the dynamics of legal reform in Egypt in particular and in Middle Eastern countries in general.
|Original language||American English|
|Journal||Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies|
|State||Published - 1999|