Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal criticised on Monday a bill regulating “public conduct and morals” presented by member of parliament (MP) Ghada Agami, for interfering in people’s personal freedom.
The 10-article law, drafted by Agami, seeks to make citizens abide by “Egyptian society’s generally accepted code of conduct, morals, principles, and identity,” as stated in the constitution.
The law includes banning women from wearing tight or revealing jeans in public places. In response, Abdel Aal said, “We are a country that accepts everyone, and we must not get into personal matters.”
He also addressed all the members who signed the bill saying, “I am sure that those who signed the bill did not read it well.” However, he said that the bill can be referred to the committee of legislative affairs, as he cannot ban members from their right to draft a bill.
However, Abdel Aal elaborated that it is very difficult to discuss a law aimed at regulating “public conduct and morals” since morals are subjective and can’t fit everyone.
MP Mohamed Abu Hamed rejected the draft law saying that it is contrary to the constitution, adding that just talking about these things affects tourism and all aspects of life.
Agami said all citizens shall abide by that law whenever they go to public places, such as markets, cinemas, theatres, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, playgrounds, clubs, roads, beaches, public means of transport, exhibitions, etc.
Agami’s bill resulted in controversy among MPs who said it violated Egypt’s 2014 constitution.
Agami had previously stirred up heated controversy when she drafted a law banning women from wearing the face veil in governmental institutions, but she had to withdraw the draft after facing a huge wave of criticism.