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Egyptian parliament to quiz lawmaker over virginity tests comment



The Egyptian Parliament said on Wednesday in Cairo that it would question a lawmaker over his call for obligatory virginity test to be conducted on women seeking university admission.

The lawmaker, Elhamy Agina, last week said during an interview that the test was necessary to combat informal marriages among university students.

He said that some young people favour this type of arrangement because they cannot afford the high expenses of formal union, which involves a dowry and gift-giving.

Agina also demanded that each university female applicant must present an official document stating that she was a “maid”.

Pre-marital sex is a taboo in mostly conservative Egypt, and women’s virginity is a sensitive matter of family honour.

However, the lawmaker’s remark triggered outrage among human rights advocates, feminist groups and social media users in Egypt.

A report said that Ali Abdelal, the Parliament Speaker, had referred Agina to the assembly’s Ethics Committee for questioning.

The media report disclosed that more than 100 public figures and rights activists lodged a signed complaint with the parliament against Agina, accusing him of insulting Egyptian women.

It said if found guilty in the parliamentary inquiry, Agina could have his membership revoked.

Agina, however, said in a Facebook post that he did not intend to offend women, adding that his call for virginity test was a mere proposal.NAN