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Divorced Egyptian Mothers Struggle Under Paternal Oppression

March 4, 2017

When Iman objected to her husband’s decision to take a second wife, he threw her out of the house with their two children. She knocked non-stop on the door. After six years of marriage, Iman got a divorce. Since then, she has been in and out of courts pursuing her rights. She has thus far failed due to her husband’s efforts to manipulate the law and overturn her case. Iman, who never completed high school, is working at a hospital to secure the basic needs of her young daughters, whose father has refused to support them financially. “I’m tired. I feel like I’m still knocking on the door with all my strength in the hope that I’ll be heard,” says Iman, who is now 35, but looks years older. Iman is one of hundreds of divorced single mothers who struggle every day to obtain their divorce rights in Egypt. Egypt’s Personal Status Law has long been notorious for stripping divorced women of the means to seek out their full rights, whether in the form of child support or their own financial rights. According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization…

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