A Female Egyptian Parliamentarian Wants To Lift The Ban On Female Genital Mutilation

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Photo: chrisschuepp via Flickr

Azza Garf is one of only nine women elected to Egypt’s parliament (of almost 500 members) in the first free elections since the end of Hosni Mubarak’s rule.She is also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood party, which strongly believes in the stricter interpretation of Islam, and is the most powerful party in Egypt since the revolution that is poised to form the new Egyptian government.

This opens up “Egypt’s Michele Bachmann” to an interesting contradiction. In a recent interview with Foreign Policy Magazine, Garf championed the greater participation of women in politics, while at the same time seemingly advocating the tightening of laws that allow women to divorce their husbands.

Garf told FP’s Sarah Topol:

“I wish she [the Egyptian woman] would be more insistent to take part in the political life — to make sure her vote is not rigged and her demands are not ignored. She should be developed in all aspects: health, economic, and education…”

“It [divorce] is in the Quran the most despised halal [something allowed]. Divorce affects the woman’s psychology, and it disintegrates family and ruins the children’s future… It is only when there is no possible solution that divorce should happen, but we should not seek it.”

That’s not the only shocking position Garf has taken. In another interview, she was quoted as saying:

“It [female genital mutilation] is a personal decision and each woman can decide based on her needs. If she needs it, she can go to a doctor.”

More concerning news about women from the Arab world.

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