The Independent British newspaper was attracted by the Egyptian MP Elhamy Agina statements which called for women to be forced to undergo virginity tests before being admitted to university, it has been reported.
Parliamentary member Elhamy Agina called on the Minister of Higher Education to issue a mandate requiring him or his officials to enforce the virginity tests, Egyptian Streets reports. He has suggested that university cards could only been issued to female students on completition of a virginity test.
In an interview with local media, he said: “Any girl who enters university, we have to check her medical examination to prove that she is a Miss. Therefore, each girl must present an official document upon being admitted to university stating she’s a Miss.”
The term “Miss” in Egyptian culture is often used to refer euphemistically as to whether a woman is a virgin
However, the US sanctions meant the centre was unable to buy and maintain crucial diagnostic machinery. In February 2014, it decided to begin a year-long application process for a US Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) exemption, which would make it easier to maintain its General Electric digital mammography machine.
Mr Agina reportedly added: “No one should be upset by this decision. If you’re upset then that means you’re scared that your daughter is in an ‘urfi’ marriage behind your back.”
Urfi marriages can be entered into without the approval of a bride’s guardian and can only require two witnesses, resulting in a cultural perception among some segments of Egyptian society that they are covert or secret marriages. They are believed to be particularly common among young couples who may be unable to afford a large wedding ceremony.