As Egypt moves to toughen penalties for practicing female genital mutilation (FGM), a member of parliament urged women to undergo the painful procedure to “reduce their sexual desires” so as to create a balance with the country’s “sexually weak” men.
The controversial comments were made by MP Elhamy Agina, according to independent media website Egyptian Streets, which cited its source from Parlmany, an outlet that covers Egyptian parliament news.
“We are a population whose men suffer from sexual weakness, which is evident because Egypt is among the biggest consumers of sexual stimulants that only the weak will consume,” Agina said. “If we stop FGM, we will need strong men and we don’t have men of that sort.”
Therefore, the lawmaker suggested it is better for women to go through genital mutilation because it makes things easier for both men and women.
Although FGM has been illegal in Egypt since 2008, it remains widespread for cultural reasons.
Agina’s outrageous remarks come at a time when Egypt, where more women have undergone FGM than anywhere else in the world, is set to increase the penalty for those involved in forcing women into the barbaric practice.
Practitioners face a sentence of 15 years in prison in case of a death, while anyone accompanying the would-be victim could be jailed between one to three years.
The tougher punishment follows the death of 13-year-old Sohair al-Bata’a, who died after a doctor, Raslan Fadl, performed FGM on her in May.
Due to complicated laws influenced by cultural and religious norms, Fadl was released after serving only a three-month sentence.
Agina’s extremely misguided comments are not surprising since he is notorious for his uncalled for sexism during parliament sessions.
In January, he came under fire for saying female MPs should “wear modest clothing inside the parliament.”