In an attempt at making an argument in favor of female genital mutilation (FGM), an Egyptian lawmaker has claimed that the practice is necessary to “reduce [women’s] sexual desires” because Egyptian men are too “sexually weak.”
According to a translation from Egyptian Streets, an English-language local news website, Elhamy Agina, a parliamentarian from Daqahliya, asserted that Egypt is “a population whose men suffer from sexual weakness, which is evident because Egypt is among the biggest consumers of sexual stimulants that only the weak will consume.” In order to stop FGM, he continued, “We will need strong men and we don’t have men of that sort.” He concluded that it was for the best that women undergo the practice to reduce “sexual appetite,” so that they would better be able to “stand by their men.”
FGM has been illegal in Egypt since 2008, but the practice has remained in widespread use — according to a UNICEF study from 2013, as many as 27.2 million women in Egypt have undergone circumcision. After an Egyptian teenager died from a botched circumcision in May, pressure has mounted on the Egyptian government to enact harsher punishments. A draft law that would mandate a minimum sentence of five years for those who force girls to undergo FGM has recently been approved by the Egyptian cabinet. The country’s parliament must first ratify the bill, however, before it can become law.
Agina attempted to distance himself from his comments this week, saying that they had been meant only in “jest.”
“Egyptian men are true men and I am a true man. Take my wife’s phone number and ask her,” said Agina.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.