Egyptian husbands will soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives – for up to six hours after their death. The controversial new law is part of a raft of measures being introduced by the radical Islamist-dominated parliament. It will also see the minimum age of marriage lowered to 14 and the ridding of women’s rights of getting education and employment.
DAILY MAIL (H/T Maria) Egypt’s National Council for Women is campaigning against the changes, saying that ‘marginalising and undermining the status of women would negatively affect the country’s human development’.
The parliamentary attacks on women’s rights has drawn great criticism from women’s organizations, who dismissed the calls and accused the MPs of wishing to destroy the little gains Egyptian women attained after long years of organized struggle.
Egyptian journalist Amro Abdul Samea reported in the al-Ahram newspaper that Talawi complained about the legislations which are being introduced under ‘alleged religious interpretations.’
The subject of a husband having sex with his dead wife arose in May 2011 when Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari said marriage remains valid even after death, alarabiya.net reported. Two years ago, Zamzami incited further controversy in Morocco when he said it was permissible for pregnant women to drink alcohol.
It seems the topic, which has sparked outrage, has now been picked up on by Egypt’s politicians.
TV anchor Jaber al-Qarmouty slammed the notion of letting a husband have sex with his wife after her death under the so-called ‘Farewell Intercourse’ draft law.
He said: ‘This is very serious. Could the panel that will draft the Egyptian constitution possibly discuss such issues? Did Abdul Samea see by his own eyes the text of the message sent by Talawi to Katatni? ‘This is unbelievable. It is a catastrophe to give the husband such a right! Has the Islamic trend reached that far? Is there really a draft law in this regard? Are there people thinking in this manner?’
Many members of the newly-elected, and majority Islamist parliament, have been accused of launching attacks against women’s rights in the country.
They wish to cancel many, if not most, of the laws that promote women’s rights, most notably a law that allows a wife to obtain a divorce without obstructions from her partner. The implementation of the Islamic right to divorce law, also known as the Khula, ended years of hardship and legal battles women would have to endure when trying to obtain a divorce.