Elhamy Ageena, a member of Parliament in Egypt, is asking universities to impose virginity tests on already enrolled female students to ensure they are still virgins.
He also called on the Ministry of Higher Education in an interview with Youm7, suggesting that these tests should be an acceptance requirement prior to enrollment for female students.
“Any girl applying to university should be tested to prove that she is a ‘Miss’ – a virgin. Each and every female applicant should present forward an official document that confirms she is a virgin. This should be done in an effort to eradicate this spreading phenomena of urfi marriage in Egypt,” Ageena said.
Even though the suggested “requirement” is only meant for females and blatantly sexist, Ageena wanted to tell people his words are not intended to upset the public.
“This proposal shouldn’t upset anyone, if it upsets you then you are afraid your daughter would be married urfi behind your back,” Ageena said.
Urfi is a customary marriage contract among Sunni Muslims that is done by a sheikh in the presence of a guardian and two witnesses. A dowry amount is also presented. The contract is not officially registered with the state, and thus not recognized by the government as a legal marriage.
“Young Egyptians are said to be opting for these informal marriages in record numbers, often as a way of getting around religious strictures against premarital sex,” as reported by the BBC.
The more common type of urfi marriage is not conducted by a Sheikh. Therefore, it doesn’t fulfill the Islamic requirements. It is a written agreement between the man and woman in the presence of two witnesses (no guardian present).
“It’s a secret marriage between a boy and girl which even their parents don’t know about,” a 20-year-old archaeology student told the BBC.
“They don’t announce it publicly.”