And the report was released on World Child Day of all days...
117,000 children under the age of 18 in Egypt are or have been married, as recorded in an official Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) report released on World Child Day. The report noted that there are 39 million children in Egypt, making up 40 percent of its population.
According to the report, Upper Egypt accounts for the highest percentage of child marriages and divorces in children between the age of 10 and 18 years old. As for the areas on the fringes of Egypt, such as the Red Sea, Sinai, Marsa Matrouh, and Aswan, their percentage was recorded to be lower at 1.3 percent.
Despite the legislative effort in recent years to combat child marriage in Egypt, the epidemic is still alive and well. Abla al-Hawari, a member of the constitutional and legislative affairs committee of the House of Representatives, states that she was the one to adopt the bill in June 2018 originally submitted by the National Council for Women (NCW) to criminalise the marriages of young girls, which the government added that attention on both genders should be given.
Child marriage is not only an obvious human rights issue, but also a huge population concern. Egypt’s population is growing at an unsustainable rate, with 500,000 children born to underage mothers every year, according to the Ministry of Health.
Main image from Youm 7.