Target: Egyptian Minister of Higher Education, Ashraf Shihi
Goal: Stop women from having to go through invasive medical examinations to prove that they are virgins before being allowed to enter university.
Elhamy Agina, an Egyptian Member of Parliament, called on the Minster of Higher Education to perform checks to ensure that women were still “a Miss” when entering university. This would mean that women would not be given access to higher education until they completed virginity testing. The results of the tests could then be shared with the woman’s parents. These kind of invasive tests violate women’s basic rights and serve as a deterrent for women who want to go to university.
Agina thought that the only reason that people would be upset by these claims was because they were worried that their daughter had entered a secret kind of marriage called an “urfi” marriage. He was unconcerned about the women who would have to undergo a procedure to test for something that scientifically doesn’t exist. Instead, he was concerned only with what the parent’s worries might be.
Virginity tests check the status of the hymen, which sometimes breaks during intercourse. It does not always break, but a broken hymen is considered lost virginity. However, hymens are also known to break during sports or other rigorous activities. This makes the scientific accuracy of these tests as an indicator of virginity, in a word, laughable.
This request came from the same Member of Parliament that recently called for female genital mutilation. According to the Washington Post, Agina wanted to “reduce their sexual desires” because the men in Egypt are “sexually weak.” After this horrifying statement, Agina should not be allowed to make legislation concerning women.
According to The Independent, Agina has downgraded his call to require women to submit to virginity tests prior to being admitted into university “a suggestion” and has decided not to discuss his “suggestion” with the media. Sign this petition to request that this ridiculous suggestion is thrown out entirely.
Dear Minister of Higher Education Shihi,
Member of Parliament Elhamy Agina recently called for women to be submitted to virginity tests to gain access to institutions of higher education. This request seeks to place limits and controls on women’s right to attend university. It is a way of humiliating women by subjecting them to an intrusive procedure, and it demotes women to second class citizens.
Agina’s recent comments about forcing women to undergo genital mutilation to “reduce their sexual desires,” should make you, and the world, question his judgment on women’s health and education. Please do not consider his suggestion to force women to have their virginity checked before attending university in any serious way.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Al Jazeera English