Egypt launches marriage awareness project ‘Mawadda’

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly reviewed a report prepared by Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly on a national project to raise awareness on the importance of marriage among youth called “Mawadda” (Affection), Youm7 reported.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi directed the Solidarity Ministry, during the sixth conference of youth at Cairo University, to carry on with the project which aims to reduce the steady rise of divorces in Egyptian society.

Waly will begin the pilot phase of this project until July in Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said, as these governorates have the highest divorce rates according to data prepared by the Ministry.

The project will then be applied to the rest of the governorates as of next October after the end of this pilot phase.

The Mawadda project seeks to combine efforts to preserve the Egyptian family unit by providing youth with the necessary expertise to form a family and resolve any possible disagreements, reducing the possibility of divorce.

According to the report, this expertise includes the basics of choosing a life partner, the rights and duties of spouses, marital and economic issues families face and how to manage them, as well as reproductive health information.

The project will provide training courses through 1,200 professors and specialists nationwide, in addition to 5,000 preachers.

The project also aims at utilizing family dispute resolution bodies to play a role in reducing divorce cases, as well as reviewing legislation that supports families and protects the rights of the two spouses and any children.

The project targets youth at the marriage age at an average of 800,000 per year, which the age group of 18 to 25 years old, who are often students of universities and higher institutes.

The report added that this project also targets recruits at Ministries of Defense and Interior, and married couples who visit any of the 212 marriage dispute settlement offices nationwide.

Mawadda depends on several levels of work to spread its message, the first of which is direct contact campaigns.

The Solidarity Ministry has also developed social, religious and health material through specialists.

This material aims at fostering positive communication, understanding and dealing with the differences and distribution of roles between spouses, discouraging domestic violence and ways to manage economic resources.

The religious material includes discussing financial rights for women, the appropriate age for marriage and defining the spousal duties, which the health material provides basic education on health, pregnancy and avoiding harmful practices such as early marriage.

The Ministry of Social Solidarity is also working on a marriage training program for wedded couples, with an average of 30 hours of attendance and a final exam.

The second dimension of the project’s work is the development of an extensive and integrated media campaign to raise awareness of the project by preparing social platforms for the project.

This includes the creation of a YouTube channel, a Twitter account a Facebook page and an Instagram account, while also creating applications on mobile phones alongside the preparation of a radio program under the title “With affection we complete our lives”, set to be broadcast across all local radio channels.

A theatrical performance in coordination with the Higher Institute of Performing Arts will be presented free of charge to the public under the project, the report added.

Family counseling and conflict resolution will be developed under the third dimension of the Mawadda project through the Dar al-Iftaa hotline and settlement offices affiliated to the Justice Ministry.

The fourth dimension will review legislation related to marriage in cooperation with Al-Azhar and Dar al-Ifta and the Ministry of Justice.

The project ends with the preparation of a database for the beneficiaries of this project, through national IDs.

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