Egypt’s government has introduced marriage lessons for university students, as part of an initiative to cut spiralling divorce rates. The scheme is called ‘Mawadda’, meaning ‘affection’.
The classes include watching YouTube videos and acting out fraught scenarios that mimic those found in married life. They are intended not only to encourage happier marriages, but to encourage students to pick the correct spouse in the first instance.
A new, literal meaning for ‘lessons in love’
The scheme – currently in a trial phase – is intended to be rolled out nationally in 2020, and eventually become mandatory for students to graduate.
Divorce rates in 2018 increased 3.2% on the previous year, something that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is keen to halt. At present, a divorce can be instigated simply by a husband telling his wife they are getting divorced.