Egypt May Drop Misogynist Rape Law

After an intense debate in parliament, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak issued a decree to strike down an Egyptian law that allows rapists to go unpunished if they marry the woman they raped.

Proponents of the law argued that eliminating of the law would further victimize women, since a woman who has been raped is considered “unmarriageable” by many in Egyptian culture and would have difficulty finding a husband. Still others contend that marriage is necessary to restore the honor of a rape survivor’s family.

Minister of Justice Farouk Seif el-Nasr stated that Mubarak’s decision was made based on evidence that the law “encouraged the criminals to perpetrate their crime instead of deterring them.”

The Egyptian Cabinet has endorsed Mubarak’s decree and sent it to parliament for ratification. Member of parliament will consider the issue today. A parliamentary vote has not yet been scheduled.


AP - April 5, 1999

Support eh ERA banner