University applications are a daunting feat. You spend hours upon hours perfecting the profile that may ultimately determine whether you gain entrance into the program or school of your dreams.
You’ve done everything you were supposed to do, enduring more caffeine-fueled all-nighters than you care to count.
You worked hard, spent countless weekends with your head buried in your textbooks, joined extra-curricular clubs, all in the hopes of dressing your university application to impress.
‘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,’ Elhamy Agina said.
Now imagine an added element to this whole exhausting process, and one that is completely irrelevant to your educational experience: a virginity test.
Egyptian MP Elhamy Agina is proposing just that.
Agina — who, earlier this month, promoted female genital mutilation — proposed that all women entering university in Egypt should undergo mandatory virginity tests prior to being granted admission.
“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,” Agina said in an interview with Youm7. He used “Miss” as an alternative to the ironically offensive “virgin.”
Agina cited “urfi marriages” as the primary force behind the bizarre proposal. Urfi marriages are, essentially, undocumented marriages.
Though the marriage contract is officiated by a religious cleric or state official, and two witnesses, the marriage is not officially registered or announced.
Agina, it would seem, believes that a committee of men, including him, are somehow entitled to not only know the sexual history of young Egyptian women, but also to play a deciding role in their futures based on the results.
Some religious clerics are critical of the undocumented marriages, blasting them as a disguise for pre-marital sex.
“If you’re upset, then that means you’re scared that your daughter is [or was] in an ‘urfi’ marriage behind your back,” Agina continued. He also stated that if a woman “fails” the virginity test, the results will be disclosed to her parents.
Agina, it would seem, believes that a committee of men are somehow entitled to knowing the sexual history of young Egyptian women — and to play a deciding role in their futures based on the results.
Aside from being utterly immoral, the proposal is dangerous. It exposes these women to potential violence at the hands of their families and isolation from their communities. It uses their private lives as a platform to level public scrutiny and condemnation against them.
In addition, the proposal would rob women who aspire to higher education of their own agency — sexually or otherwise. It would also create a dangerous precedent of using women’s sexuality as a litmus test for educational, social, and political access.
Curiously, men and their sexual endeavors are wholly exempt from this barbaric and misogynist proposal.
It is to be deduced that women should bear the sole responsibility and burden of reducing urfi marriages, and that virginity is, for women at least, more important than an educational career.
Men are afforded the right of being judged based on their merit; women, on their sexuality, or lack thereof.
Women’s sexual lives, to be exercised however they wish, are private, and should be disclosed only to those whom the woman wishes it disclosed.
Agina’s weak attempt at furthering his alleged “moral crusade” seems like a bad cover for his own sexual obsession.
Rather than focusing on the myriad of problems plaguing Egypt, he is concerned with a futile campaign to immobilize the educational mobility of women. Agina also said that the hundreds of migrants killed in a shipwreck of the Egyptian coast “deserved to die.”
Nice try Agina, but we know a #WallahBro when we see one.
His comments have elicited angry responses from Egyptians on social media, including other MPs and Islamic clerics.