CAIRO: The number of couples getting married in Egypt has continued to slide due to the high costs involved, according to experts.
New figures released by Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, showed the number of marriages fell from 912,606 in 2017 to 887,315 last year, down 2.8 percent. With 938,526 weddings recorded in 2016, the data highlighted a decrease of more than 25,000 Egyptian marriages a year.
Dr. Hassan Al-Khouli, a professor of sociology, blamed economic and social reasons for the decline, with the high rate of youth unemployment in the country a key factor in making marriage too expensive for many families.
In some cities the cost of getting married can run to almost 1 million Egyptian pounds ($61,326).
Dr. Abdul Hamid Zaid of Fayoum University said the economic situation in Egypt had hit the middle classes hard.
He told Arab News that there were still plenty of couples who wanted to wed and start families, but they did not have enough financial security to follow it through. Soad Hussein, 30, from Cairo, said that prior to her marriage she spent around 80,000 Egyptian pounds on her wedding supplies, including kitchen utensils and other items, and had to save for years to fund it. She and her husband held a small street party to celebrate the ceremony last November.
“If I have a daughter, I hope things are easier for her,” Hussein told Arab News.
According to data, the average cost of getting married in Egypt for the bride is between 500,000 and 650,000 Egyptian pounds, with a house costing around 400,000. The bride’s gold gift averages between 20,000 to 100,000 Egyptian pounds depending on local and family traditions.
In some parts of Egypt young people have launched campaigns to reduce the cost of marriage by cutting out or scaling back expensive traditions.
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