Egypt’s new Islamist-dominated parliament is preparing to introduce a controversial law that would allow husbands to have sex with their deceased wives up to six hours after death.
Known as the "farewell Intercourse" law, the measure is being championed as part of a raft of reforms introduced by the parliament that will also see the minimum age of marriage lowered to 14 for girls.
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'.
Dr Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, wrote to the Egyptian People’s assembly speaker Dr Saad al-Katatni addressing her concerns.
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.
He also said that women have the right to have sex with her dead husband, alarabiya.net reported.
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.
“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?,” the Daily Mail quoted him as telling the website.
“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 added.