(Cairo, 5th Oct. 2016)
The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) strongly condemns the statements of the two MPs addressing women. The first MP released a statement calling for female university students to undergo mandatory virginity tests and to submit what proves their virginity. He added that this virginity test should be conducted every year as a condition for the female university students to get their university ID. He claims that this procedure will reduce ‘urfi marriage.
After few days another MP announces that he is currently working on a draft law calling for female students at the vocational schools to undergo mandatory virginity tests as well, using words that are abusive for all Egyptian families.
These statements are considered as direct incitement to violence against women and a clear violation of the sanctity of both the personal privacy and the body stipulated by the constitution and the international conventions. These statements are also accusing students and girls of ‘urfi marriage and bad conduct, and a strong violation for the constitution. At the same time the constitution stipulates in Article no. 11 that
“…. The State shall protect women against all forms of violence ….” the MPs believe that girls must undergo virginity tests.
Ms. Nehad AbolKomsan, ECWR Chairwoman, believes that these statements are incitement to violence against large segments of young women, as the number of young women enrolled in the Egyptian universities reaches 1688770, amounting to 50.14% and the number of girls enrolled in vocational schools reaches 709370, amounting to 44.5%.
According to the international conventions and United Nations’ decisions ratified by Egypt; This is a gross violation of human rights and incitement to violence against a large segment of population up to two million and half young women
These statements also form an insult not only to women, but to all Egyptian families accusing them of failing in disciplining both their male and female children. Ms. Nehad also calls upon the Values Committee in the parliament to take decisive and strict action against any MP releasing statements inciting violence in general and against women in particular, especially that these statements ruin the image of Egypt both in the society and in the international community as a whole.
Consequently, ECWR will submit an official complain to the Prosecutor General against the two MPs for their statements. ECWR also demands;
- Lifting the immunity of the MPs to allow for their trails
- Taking all the decisive producers against any MP releasing irresponsible statements inciting violence in the society and against women in particular