A woman takes part in a protest in Egypt
A woman takes part in a protest in Egypt

Two new laws allowing men to have sex with dead wives and lowering the age of marriage to 14 have provoked uproar in Egypt.

The controversial new laws are part of a series of measures introduced in Egypt post-revolution and Islamist-dominated parliament and are set to be approved soon.

The country's National Council for Women (NCW) launched an appeal to the parliament not to approve the laws which would, among other civil infringements, considerably affect women's right and access to education.

The head of the organisation, Dr. Mervat al-Talawi sent a message to Dr. Saad al-Katatni, the speaker of the people's assembly in a bid to prevent the laws from being passed.

Amro Abdul Samea cartoonist for the Egyptian al-Ahram newspaper wrote in Al-Ahram Talawi's message tried to outline the effect the laws would have on women's struggle.

"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.

TV anchor Jaber al-Qarmouty also slammed the move, saying '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?

'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?'

The issue first gained momentum and spaked discussions in the Muslim world after a Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari said in one of his speeches in May last year that marriage remains valid even after death.

Zamzani also said that women also had the right to engage in sex with their dead husbands.

The cleric is known for his controversial statements. In 2010 he said pregnant women could drink alcohol.

Egypt's radical Islamists in the parliament have been accused of attacking women's rights.They, in contrast, claim that the Mubarak-era laws on women rights are only aimed at "destroying families."