Following an Egyptian lawmaker’s proposal that women be made to undergo mandatory virginity tests when applying to university, a women’s right group has officially filed a legal complaint calling for his expulsion from parliament. Lawmaker Ilhami Agena said last week that virginity tests were necessary in order to prevent inexpensive informal marriages called “gawaz orfy” that had become popular among students in recent years. Muslims clerics in the country had spoken out against the proliferation of such marriages, arguing that they were a means for young people to have religiously sanctioned premarital sex.
Maya Morsi, head of Egypt’s National Council for Women, said that Agena had harmed the reputation of the entire country, calling for the politician to be removed from parliament and a criminal investigation opened into his actions. Agena had also drawn fire for telling female lawmakers to dress more modestly and for his suggestion last month that female genital mutilation was necessary in order to curb Egyptian women’s sexuality.
According to a Unicef study from 2013, as many as 27.2 million women in Egypt have undergone circumcision.
Read the full story at The Associated Press.