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Sunday, 13 October 2019

Egypt's women's council to file complaint against MP who called for college virginity tests

In the latest of his controversial proposals, Ilhami Agina said that any woman applying to university should be subject to a virginity test

Mariam Mecky , Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 1 Oct 2016
File photo of Egypt's National Council for Women Headquarters. (Photo: Ahram)
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Egypt's National Council for Women will file a report with the state’s top attorney against a parliamentarian over his "offensive remarks against women in Egypt and abroad," Dina Hussien a member of the council said on Saturday.

Ilhami Agina, an independent MP from the Nile Delta governorate of Daqahliya, said last week that girls hoping to attend university should first undergo a mandatory "virginity test."

The council is also preparing a complaint to give to the speaker of parliament against the MP, requesting that he “undertake all the legal procedures against the MP according to the constitution and parliamentary bylaws to be investigated for his latest and previous remarks," Hussien told Ahram Online.

"Any girl who wishes to join university must undergo this test on a regular basis to prove that she is still a virgin," Agina said. "She also must submit a document that she is still a virgin in order to be officially admitted to the university."

That was not the first controversial public statement by Agina, who said in early September that he voted against a new bill that made female genital mutilation (FGM) a felony, arguing that the FGM should remain in place to balance the "weak" sexual prowess of most Egyptian men.

Earlier this year, the MP also said that female MPs should modest wear clothing inside parliament.

Amna Nosseir, a female MP and a university professor in Islamic law, told reporters that "Agina's remarks represent an insult to women and public manners in Egypt."

"I hope that parliament will move this time to take a serious and firm stand against Agina, discipline him and stem the tide of his statements, which might convey a bad message about Egypt's parliament," Nosseir said.

Agina has said previously that his statements about public issues in Egypt should be viewed as reflecting his right to practice freedom of speech.

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