A draft law lowering the age requirement for the national identification card, to be at 15 years old rather than 16, was approved during a cabinet meeting on July 20.
The draft law also stipulates that the document is issued within six months of reaching age, reports Al Ahram.
The modification to the age requirement requires amendment to a specific article in Egypt’s law 143 of 1994, which comprises all matters regarding civil status.
Undeniably one of, if not every Egyptian’s most important identification document, al-betaqa (national ID) carries the name, address, profession, religion and sex of each individual. It is valid for up to seven years.
Egypt’s law 143 of 1994 has been at the core of various social and civil status debates across the years, namely pertaining to religious discrimination and underage child marriages.
In April, under the guidance of Mostafa Madbouli, the Egyptian Prime Minister, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a new draft law and provisions, also pertaining to law 143 of 1994, concerned with the prohibition child marriage.
The draft law set out to criminalise underage marriage citing children’s lack of health and mental abilities to bear the responsibilities associated with marriage.
By law, the marriage registration age is set to 18 years old. The minimum driving age is also 18 years old, and the legal drinking age is 21 years old.
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