Global Challenges
Breakfast forum

Muslim family law reform in Egypt

Why did the draft of a new personal status law cause controversy in Egypt last year?

Egyptian woman in a crowd of protesters held up a poster in Arabic
UN Women/Fatma Elzahraa Yassin

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Note: Venue is the Arts and Humanities library (HF-biblioteket) and the event is onsite only. Breakfast will be served at the library.

In 2021, Egypt’s government put forward a draft of a new law of personal status for Muslims. The draft caused considerable controversy and was later withdrawn. In this talk, Monika Lindbekk will address controversies over family law reform since the Arab spring. She will do this against the background of social and political upheaval, where different actors and institutions compete over the power to interpret Islamic shari’a in an authoritative manner. Lindbekk will also situate the ongoing debate in the context of a century of Egyptian law reform, that led to considerable changes in both the husband-wife and parent child relationship in the 2000s.

The talk will be introduced by Eirik Hovden, leader of the research project CanCode: Canonization and Codification of Islamic Legal Texts.

Monika Lindbekk is a research fellow at the Department of Foreign Langauges at the UiB. She is a researcher on the CanCode-project. The project focuses on processes of canonization and codification of Islamic law: How does Islamic law Change? Canonization and Codification of Islamic Legal Texts. Her research investigates how Muslim marriage and divorce law is understood and applied in Egypt and other Muslim majority countries.