Egypt is planning to make a new anti-divorce program which offers mandatory lessons for university students starting this coming academic year in September, an official said Wednesday. Egypt's church and leading Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, are partners in the project.
Mawadda, which means affection, was launched earlier this year to qualify university students for marriage and educate them on how to choose their partners and handle marital conflicts. The project is intended to curb divorce rate which reached 211,000 cases in 2018, according the statics news agency CAPMAS.
The project has since been in a trial phase, but starting this September it will be mandatory for graduation, Amr Osman, social solidarity minister advisor said.
To date, 21,000 young people have received training as part of a project in the governorates of Cairo, Alexandria, and Port Said, where most divorce cases occur, he said, according to state news agency MENA.
The program is targeting 900,000 people in the 18-25 age bracket annually, mostly university students. It is also targeting married couples who resort to government's conflict settlement offices.
Egypt's Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Waly said last year that tough economic conditions and low employment rates were behind the significant rise in divorce rates.
Mawadda was launched after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi urged action to combat the country's high divorce rates and said he was alarmed by the figures.