Egypt MP in hot water again for pressing on ‘virginity tests’

The controversial MP has been transferred to the ethics committee for wanting female students to undergo ‘virginity tests’ to curb informal marriages

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Ali Abdel Al, elected speaker of Egypt's parliament, said Tuesday that the controversial parliamentarian Ilhami Agena has been transferred to the ethics committee over his latest statement, saying female students must undergo “virginity tests” to curb informal marriages.

Last week, Agena said in an interview that virginity tests were needed to combat the proliferation of informal marriages, known as “gawaz orfy,” between students. Virtually expense free, such marriages have become more popular in recent years because of high youth unemployment and a shortage of affordable housing.

The lawyer Tarek al-Awadhi has also filed a legal case against Agena on the behalf of Jannet Abduladhim, executive director for the Center of Equality for Training and Consultation in Cairo.

Awadhi said Agena has discriminated against women and incited violence against them.

“A legal case number 12456 for year 2016 has been filed [against Agena]. The MP is accused of
inciting decimation against a strata in society - women - in violation for article 51 and 53 [in the constitution].”

The lawyer has also said that Agena has “misused” his position as parliamentarian “to humiliate” not only women but men too.

Not only that, but the lawyer said he is pressing on Agena to undergo psychiatric medical checks.

Earlier, Maya Morsi, head of the state-sanctioned National Council for Women, said Agena’s comments should be met with his expulsion from parliament and a criminal investigation into his actions. She said the lawmaker was harming the reputation of Egyptian women, men and the country itself.

But speaking to AlArabiya.Net Agena, Agena said he wasn’t intending to insult with his comments or ‘present a draft law’, but rather just make a suggestion’. He also suggested that many Egyptian men were impotent.

The lawmaker’s comments caused outrage last week when he also suggested that every girl should submit an official document when applying to university stating she was still virgin.

He also called for female circumcision to help counter the sexual dysfunction of many Egyptian men.

Agena said he had noticed a high consumption of sexual stimulants by Egyptians and suggested that women should undergo circumcision to alleviate their sexual desire, something he said would help deal with problems of impotence that often lead to divorce.

Female genital mutilation is a big problem in many countries around the world. But tougher laws were announced in Egypt in August for those found to be forcing women to undergo the highly dangerous and very painful operation.

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