Sunday October 2nd 2016
An Egyptian MP has come under fire after calling for women to undergo compulsory virginity tests before being let into university. The National Council for Women has demanded Elhamy Agina is expelled from parliament, and a criminal investigation launched to look into his comments.
The politician, who previously called for women to undergo female genital mutilation, said no one should be upset by the policy and that it was only a “suggestion”.
Tests for every girl “Any girl who enters university, we have to check her medical examination to prove she is a Miss” Elhamy Agina In a statement to Egyptian newspaper Youm7, Mr Agina said the test should apply to all girls going to university.
“Any girl who enters university, we have to check her medical examination to prove she is a Miss,” he added. “Each girl must present an official document upon being admitted to university stating she’s a Miss.”
“Miss” is frequently used in Egypt as term for a virgin. ‘If you’re upset that means you’re scared’ “No one should be upset by this decision,” he added. “If you’re upset then that means you’re scared your daughter is in an ‘urfi’ marriage behind your back.” Mr Agina, a member of the country’s committee on human rights, said the policy could help cut down on urfi marriages.
Urfi marriages are a type of ceremony that doesn’t need the public approval of the bride’s guardians, and often takes place in secret, requiring only two other witnesses. Conservative clerics have claimed the marriages are used as a cover for pre-marital sex. Parents notified of failures Under Mr Agina’s policy,
the parents of any girl failing the test would be immediately notified. Maya Morsi, head of the National Council for Women said the politician was harming the reputation of Egyptian women, men and the country itself. However the MP told the IBTimes he had to decided not to engage with the media over the backlash:
“People have been attacking me since and they’re upset and such. I’ve decided not to deal with the media.” “I did not make a demand, I made a suggestion.
There’s a big difference between a demand and a suggestion.” The politician had previously caused controversy by saying victims of a migrant boat which capsized on the way to Italy “deserve no sympathy”. He also encouraged women to undergo female genital mutilation to “reduce their sexual desires” because men in Egypt are “sexually weak”.