Nearly a year after the Arab Spring swept through Egypt, women in the country are fighting against radical laws proposed by the government’s Islamic-led parliament. According to Al Arabiya News, the new laws would lower the minimum that a young girl can consent to marriage to 14, and would allow a man to have sex with his wife’s body up to six hours after her death.
Other laws being considered would also reverse the rights of women in the country to pursue an education and earn a living.
Al Arabiya reports:
According to Egyptian columnist Amro Abdul Samea in al-Ahram, Talawi’s message included an appeal to parliament to avoid the controversial legislations that rid women of their rights of getting education and employment, under alleged religious interpretations.
“Talawi tried to underline in her message that marginalizing and undermining the status of women in future development plans would undoubtedly negatively affect the country’s human development, simply because women represent half the population,” Abdul Samea said in his article.
The controversy about a husband having sex with his dead wife came about after a Moroccan cleric spoke about the issue in May 2011.
Under the reign of former dictator Hosni Mubarak women enjoyed several advancements of rights, particularly because of First Lady Suzanne Mubarak who wanted all Egyptian women to enjoy the same rights she was afforded. But with last year’s overthrow of the government, many women are feeling uneasy about the direction of the country and what it means for them.