Prior to the decree, girls could get married as young as 16 years old. Child marriage remains a common practice in Egypt, accounting for 15% of all marriages in the country.
According to a study conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) one in three girls in developing countries is married before reaching 18 years old. One in nine is married under the age of 15.
Many international agreements outlaw child marriage, including the Convention of the Child and the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Many international conferences and organizations have also called on countries to eliminate child marriage.