Egyptian women file complaint against proposal for mandatory invasive virginity tests

Egypt’s National Council for Women will file a complaint against the member of parliament who proposed that female students undergo mandatory virginity tests before being admitted to university.

MP Elhamy Agina told Youm7 reporter that he suggests performing virginity tests on female students prior to university admission in order to reduce the number of urfi (informal) marriages in Egypt.

Urfi marriage, which is believed to be common among young couples, doesn’t require approval of a bride’s guardian and is not officially registered with state authorities.

Agina’s comments were met with a backlash, with the head of the National Council for Women Maya Morsi slamming his suggestion in a phone call with El-Mehwar satellite channel saying they show “no sense of responsibility”.

“We’re preparing a complaint that will be submitted to the speaker of parliament, requesting that he undertakes suitable action to protect the image of the parliament and Egypt,” Morsi said, revealing the MP should, at least, be referred to the parliament’s ethics committee.

Morsi also revealed that the council would file another complaint with the public prosecutor, in which they request that all legal procedures be taken against Agina.

Agina’s controversial statements should be tackled as they get translated and published in foreign media, which tarnishes the image of Egypt and stirs controversy, according to Morsi.

This wasn’t the first provocative proposal by Agina. The controversial MP has faced wide criticism earlier this month after he said that women should accept to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) to reduce their sexual desires and match that of Egypt’s “sexually weak” men.

This came only few days after the cabinet approved a draft amendment to the law against FGM, imposing harsher punishments on the practice to become punishable with imprisonment between five- seven years and up to 15 years in case the operation led to a permanent disability or death.

Agina also managed to make headlines earlier this week, after he said that victims of the migrant boat that capsized en route to Italy “deserve no sympathy”. The number of bodies recovered of the boat, which carried an estimated 600 migrants, stood at 202.

In January, Agina faced another wave of criticism from fellow parliamentarians after he called on female MPs to dress modestly inside the parliament. Several MPs called Agina’s statement as “inappropriate” and “provoking”, before the controversial MP claimed that media twisted his statement and that he was referring to MPs who arrive in informal or casual clothes.


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