• Tackling taboo

    Tackling taboo

    In Egypt, women are often subject to social stigma associated with divorce. However internet-based station Divorce Radio is working to change perceptions and provide essential advice on legal divorce procedures. The broadcasts also aim to provide psychological assistance to women who face difficulties adjusting to their new social status.

    According to AllAfrica.com, the divorce rate in the North African country is one of the highest globally.

    ‘Here in Egyptian society, the woman is looked upon as if she is the one who made a big mistake getting a divorce from her husband,’ says Divorce Radio founder Mahasen Saber in an interview published online. ‘I want Arab society to respect women who are divorced.’

    Under Egyptian law, a woman can get a divorce without her husband’s agreement through a practice referred to as ‘khula’. While it requires the woman to give up her financial rights to avoid drawn-out litigation, an increasing number of women in Egypt are initiating divorces.

    ‘With more rights being given to women, such as the right to education, to employment – the idea of financial independence is very important here – she can easily have her divorce and be able to live on her own,’ says Madiha Safty, a sociologist from the American University in Cairo. ‘That’s in addition to changing family laws giving women more rights.’

    8 May 2018
    Image: Alamy