Ink on Paper “The Crime of Child Marriage”

Child or underage marriage is a crime deeply entrenched in the norms of Egyptian society, particularly in rural communities and Upper Egypt. It is one of the most widespread forms of complex violence, violating not only the rights of girls but also robbing them of their childhood, often resulting in severe health and psychological issues.

According to a number of international organizations, 12 million girls around the world are married before the age of 18 every year. Egypt and Yemen have some of the highest rates of underage marriage in the Arab region and the Middle East.

Indicators show that the rates of child marriage have increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, as economic conditions and destitution mainly push families to get rid of their daughters.

Given the prevalence of child marriage in Egyptian society and its multifaceted impact on social, economic, health, and psychological aspects, this paper aims to explore the primary causes of this issue. Additionally, it proposes recommendations to address and mitigate child marriage within the Egyptian context, while also examining legislative efforts made since 2017 to criminalize the practice.

The paper delves into several key aspects, including defining the phenomenon of child marriage, its underlying causes, and the stance of legislators. This analysis is juxtaposed with the realities of child marriage on the ground and its consequences for both society and the state. Furthermore, it evaluates the effectiveness of the National Strategy to Combat Early Marriage (2015-2020) and offers recommendations aimed at combating this phenomenon within Egyptian society.

For your perusal: Ink on paper (1)

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