In Egypt, there are huge differences between
rich and poor. The proportion of poor people in the
population decreased over several years, but the trend
has reversed. Nearly one-third of Egyptians live below
the poverty line, according to official statistics
published in the summer of 2019.
The global financial crisis 2008-2009 and the unrest
following the 2011 revolution have contributed to
increased food insecurity and increased malnutrition. At
least every fifth child is believed to suffer from
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Egypt, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Poverty is particularly widespread in rural areas and
not least in the southern, southern parts of the
country. There, over half the population is counted as
poor. But slum and inadequate community service
characterize Cairo and Alexandria, which are
overpopulated by rural immigration and high birth rates.
However, childbirth has decreased significantly.
Public health is adversely affected by the fact that
large groups suffer from a lack of good quality food and
live under unhygienic conditions. Health care is
relatively well developed in the cities, but it is
unevenly distributed with major shortcomings in southern
Egypt and in the slums of big cities. Private
organizations, mainly Islamic, account for much of the
basic health care.
The social insurance system for employees includes
sickness, occupational injury and life insurance as well
as unemployment benefits, maternity allowance and
old-age pension. However, the increase in population and
budget savings have eroded social services. Large
population groups are outside the formal economy and are
not covered by the insurance system, but a new health
insurance system is being prepared (see Calendar).
Three-fifths of adults are overweight, according to
WHO. Egypt is one of ten countries in the world where
diabetes is most common, according to a study presented
in 2015. It is also one of the countries that has been
severely affected by bird flu.
In the cities, in principle, everyone has access to
running water, and in the countryside it is stated that
93 percent of the residents. But interruptions are
common and the water quality is often poor.
About two-thirds of rural women are illiterate. Child
labor is common, especially in rural areas.
Egyptian society is hierarchical and the background
of the family is more important than absolute wealth.
Education is highly valued and those who can afford
invest a lot in their children's education, including
low-income earners. People also get respect through age.
The younger ones are expected to adhere to the older
ones and the oldest man in this context is expected to
make decisions that benefit the family.
The genus plays a major role in all social
relationships. The ideal family is the extended family,
but most Egyptians, especially in the cities, now live
in nuclear families.
The family survives through inheritance from father
to son. A son is generally valued higher than a
daughter, although they often receive as much love and
attention in their early years. The man manages the
family's income and assets. The woman is expected to
respect her husband and has primary responsibility for
children and households.
In a comparative study published in 2013 on respect
for women's rights in 22 Arab countries, Egypt came in
An important decision, however, is to influence
women: who she will marry (although both her family and
so-called marriage mediators are involved in the
negotiations). The trend, especially in the urban middle
class, is towards the spouses being more equal in age
and education. Sex before marriage is not accepted and
almost all couples get married.
Marriage between cousins is common. Polygamy is not
prohibited but is becoming less common, around five
percent of Muslim men have more than one wife. Divorce
totals are high. In the Coptic Christian minority
neither polygamy nor divorce is allowed.
Although the law advocates equality between women and
men, there are some discriminatory statutes for women,
not least with regard to her personal status (marriage,
divorce, custody, inheritance law). Under Islamic law,
sons are to inherit twice as much as daughters and often
the daughters' portion of the inheritance is negotiated
away. After divorce, the woman is allowed to retain
custody of the children while they are young, then the
children accrue to the man. In all social strata of
Egypt, having children is considered to be the greatest
gift of all. Not being able to have children is in many
ways the worst thing that can affect a woman.
Women's trafficking is not prohibited by law, the
same goes for rape in marriage. But campaigns against
the violence have been carried out and the discussion
about criminalizing domestic abuse has reached
Parliament. A central concept is honor. A person's honor
depends on the reputation and honor of each member of
the family. For female family members, the concept of
honor is primarily linked to their sexuality, which is
therefore carefully controlled. Honor-related violence
against women is widespread. Traditionally, a woman is
not allowed to be seen with men outside her family.
However, this does not apply as strictly in major
cities. However, men and women are still often separated
in daily life, for example by different train carriages
or separate queues.
Another crime against women is genital mutilation,
which occurs both among Christians and among Muslims.
The interventions are common in Egypt and down in the
Horn of Africa, however, not in the Arab world at large.
The majority of all Egyptian girls are sexually
assaulted when they reach puberty - despite the fact
that hospitals are not allowed to perform the procedure
and even though it is prohibited by Egyptian law. A
change for the better is that the issue is now also
being discussed more openly. The first convictions in a
case involving genital mutilation came in 2015, when a
doctor received two years in prison and the father of a
13-year-old girl who died after the procedure was given
three months conditional. A survey conducted by the UN
Children's Fund in 2016 showed that 87 percent of women
aged 15-49 were sexually abused, which meant a reduction
compared to previous surveys. But it is difficult to get
reliable results. An experience like genital mutilation
does not want many to discuss with unknown interviewers,
and most procedures are not done at clinics where
medical records are kept.
In the labor market, women often have lower wages.
Women are strongly under-represented in the formal labor
market, in political life and in the justice system. In
parts of the state administration, however, a relatively
large number of women are in high standing.
Egypt was one of the first countries to ratify the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child and has since
taken several steps to implement it. In 1996, a
children's law was adopted and in 1998 a national
council for children's issues was established. But
despite political intentions, there is a great need for
improvement. Poverty still represents the greatest
threat to children's lives and health. No one knows how
many street children there are in Egypt, but the number
is said to have increased in recent years. The
Children's Act gives the police the opportunity to
arrest children who are begging, being homeless or
schooling. Children are sometimes held captive with
adults at risk of being abused.
Although there is a ban on child labor, many children
are forced to leave school to begin work and contribute
to the family's livelihood. It is especially common for
girls to leave school early. Unemployment among young
people is very high.
Discrimination due to sexual orientation occurs. Gay
and bisexuality is not prohibited by law, but committing
homosexual acts in public is a criminal offense.
Homosexuals have been convicted of moral crimes and it
is difficult to live openly as gay or bisexual.
Many disabled people are forced to live a secluded
life without care, therapy or work even if they are
entitled to positive discrimination according to law.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
18 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
98.4 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
94.2 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
4.2 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 131 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
15 percent (2018)