Family Law: The Search for Equality
This chapter introduces family law from the point of view of legislative reform and the position of women in the legal system. The central thesis sees Alexis de Tocqueville's concept of the ‘age of equality’ as the dominant paradigm in modern Middle Eastern law. It is argued that contemporary family law in the region is driven by legislative efforts to set increased equality between men and women, against a classical age which was overwhelmingly non-egalitarian. The equality debate in Muslim family law is addressed in the course of an analysis of marriage, divorce, and child custody, and is pursued in the light of legislation and legislative debates, as well as court decisions.
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