High Court Rules Brides In Bangladesh Will No Longer Disclose Virgin Status

The Highest Court in Bangladesh has ruled women no longer have to disclose whether or not they are virgins on their marriage certificates. The ruling came down after a five-year battle where women’s rights groups fought for a woman’s right to privacy.

Prior to the law, brides were mandated to state if they were “kumari” which means virgin, or if they were divorced or widowed. According to the ruling, grooms will now have to state whether they are widowers or divorced. The previous law exempted them from doing so.

The Realist Woman’s take:

My first thought when I read the headline to this story was, “what?” Why is someone’s sexual status anyone’s business? But then again, this is a majority Muslim country. I say that as a fact and not a judgment on Muslims. Muslim countries like Bangladesh tend to be extremely conservative, giving very little leeway to women’s rights and privacy. I can't judge because my very own government has lost their minds and thinks my body and what I do with it is their business. 

The patriarchy is alive and well in the United States, Bangladesh and nearly every country around the world. Men in this country think it’s their right to prevent women from doing as they please with their bodies and men in Bangladesh had the nerve to think it was okay to force women to reveal if they were virgins on their marriage certificates. Men didn’t have to disclose their sexual status and I’m glad the high court saw through the sexism, only to shut that law down.