Egyptian TV presenter who spoke about single motherhood jailed for 'outraging public decency'

'Can you choose, yourself, to become a single mother?" asks host

Harriet Agerholm
Friday 03 November 2017 19:33 GMT
Doaa Salah spoke about ways women could have children without men
Doaa Salah spoke about ways women could have children without men (Al-Nahar TV)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


An Egyptian TV presenter has been sentenced to three years in prison for discussing women having children outside wedlock on air.

Doaa Salah asked if her viewers had considered having sex before marriage.

The Al-Nahar TV presenter also suggested a woman could briefly marry to have children before divorcing her husband.

Opening the Dodi Show wearing a false pregnancy bump, she said: “If she gets divorce she becomes a single mother. If, God forbid, she is widowed, she becomes single mother. So can you choose, yourself, to become a single mother before you get married?"

She also complained artificial insemination was not offered in Egypt.

Ms Salah was immediately suspended from her presenting job for three months after the broadcast.

She was later charged and convicted of outraging public decency.

Ashraf Naji, a lawyer, filed a lawsuit against Ms Salah after the programme aired in July and she was reportedly ordered to pay 10,000 Egyptian pounds in compensation (£430).

Authorities said the ideas touted by Ms Salah "threatened the fabric of Egyptian life", according to the EFE news agency.

Although it is not illegal to have a child outside marriage in Egypt, it is frowned on. Parents can find it difficult to register illegitimate children because of rules requiring them to prove the paternity of the child.

Critics say Egypt is growing increasingly conservative and in recent months the state has used vague morality laws to arrest 70 men and women accused of being gay.

Ms Salah's three-year prison sentence follows a verdict that is open to appeal.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in