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Egypt's divorced women demand their fair share of assets

While divorced women in Egypt face significant financial difficulties, some have argued that proposed changes to laws violate Islamic law.
Egyptian women carry a picture of late Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum during a protest supporting women's rights in the constitution and protesting against harassment against women and child marriage, in front of the presidential palace in Cairo October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh  (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR38T58
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For more than two years, Sabah, an Egyptian woman in her 40s, has been trying to obtain proof of her ex-husband’s monthly income so the Family Court in Giza governorate will require him to provide her a monthly payment that ensures a decent standard of living for their three daughters. Sabah, who didn’t want her last name published, said that her ex-husband divorced her several years ago and married another woman because he wanted to have sons.

She told Al-Monitor her husband is a state employee with the Ministry of Education for which he receives a monthly salary of 1,700 Egyptian pounds ($191), but he also has been involved in trade ventures for 16 years that bring in more than 20,000 pounds ($2,252) a month. Sabah told Al-Monitor that she can’t obtain proof of his full monthly income, because he never registered his trade activities with the commercial registry. She fears that, if the courts rely only on his state salary, her monthly alimony will only amount to around 850 pounds ($96) — an amount she says is much too low to provide a decent life for her girls.

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