Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament is set to introduce a law allowing husbands to have sex with their dead wives up to six hours after death. Critics fear that the controversial law highlights a trend of increasingly anti-women legislation since the so-called Arab Spring.
The proposed law has sparked much controversy, specifically within Egypt's
National Council for Women, which has been campaigning against the law, saying that it "marginalizes and undermines the status of women and would negatively affect the country's human development."
Dr. Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, appealed against the law to the Egyptian People's Assembly Speaker, Dr. Saad al-Katatni on behalf of Egyptian women.
The "Farewell Intercourse" law is just one of many new laws being introduced to Egyptians recently by the Islamist-dominated parliament. Other laws call for the legal marriage age to be lowered to 14 and abolish women's rights to education and employment.
The controversial law further evoked criticism among Egyptian media personas. Prominent journalist and TV host Jaber al-Qarmouty used his program to lash out at the proposed law.
“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?” he asked.
Yet, this was not the first time Egyptians caught wind of the "Farewell Intercourse" law. The law was first introduced in a fatwa (Islamic law) issued by a Moroccan cleric last year. Zamzami Abdul Bari said marriage remains valid even after death. He also said that women have the right to have sex with their dead husbands.