Egypt Lawmaker Wants to Regulate Engagements, Impose Fines for Cancelled Weddings  

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TEL AVIV — An Egyptian Member of Parliament has demanded that couples’ engagement periods be regulated by law before the wedding and that couples who decide to cancel the engagement without proper justification be punished.

Lawmaker Abla Alhawari seeks to enshrine into law:

“The personal status, clauses relating to engagement and the need to institutionalize the engagement so that punishments be enforced in order to protect the honor of the homes (of the female partner), and to prevent any possibility that during the engagement period the young man entertains himself at the expense of the young woman; to protect the young woman’s future from harm and to prevent any possibility that the man will play with his fiancé’s feelings and deceive her and her family with the decision to cancel the wedding after a short period of engagement when it’s clear that his goal is to evade the responsibility of marriage.”

The Member of Parliament contended that a clause should be added for a system of compensation in which the partner who decides to cancel the engagement would pay the other. Alhawari also seeks to determine an allowed length of an engagement period, which, according to her proposal, should be one year. According to the proposal, the need would also be established to return gifts received during the engagement period.

The proposal would see an engagement contract unlike the marriage contract with the population registry, but would be a legal document that protects the rights of both sides according to the claim that women are left suffer more than their fiancés. “The purpose of the bill is to stop playing with young women and their feelings.”

The bill includes a clause that would increase punishments in cases involving female minors.

Another bill presented to Egyptian Parliament seeks to restrict births in Egypt to three children per family. Lawmaker Gada Ajami believes that the high birth rate in Egypt makes it difficult to absorb all the resources and abilities of the state and those who want to have more than three children would be left without help from the state for the cost sof education as well as medical services and other services.

Ajami believes that the high birth rate harms Egypt’s potential for growth. “We are in a terrible economic war and this war demands that we raise awareness about household behaviors, increase revenues and production and reduce expenses, as well as limiting birth rates,” Ajami said.

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