CAIRO: A total of 88,000 Urfi ( unofficial, but some argue Islamically sound) marriages were converted into registered marriages in 2014; 62,000 of whom were of girls who were below 18 when they got married, according to the annual report of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS.)
Urfi marriage is a kind of partnership that does not require official registration and can be arranged in secret. Although it does not guarantee any rights for the spouses, some families in rural areas marry their girls off below the legal age of marriage to follow their tradition of early marriage, especially since many of the girls drop out of school early on.
A total of 953,000 marriage contracts were registered in 2014, including the said converted marriages, which have increased by 38.7 percent compared to 2013. The figure also includes 3,264 cases were the spouses remarried.
However, 180,000 divorces were registered in 2014 with an increase of 10.9 percent from 2013. The majority of the marriages and divorces occurred between spouses who have degrees lower that a university degree.
A total of 43.3 percent of the men involved in the marriages fall in the age group of 25 to 30 years old, compared to 20 to 25 years old for women at 39.4 percent of the marriages.
Divorces registered among women aged 25 to 30 years old amounted to 22.4 percent, while men aged 30 to 35 who got divorced reached 20.1 percent of all men divorced in 2014.