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Violation Of Privacy: Bangladesh Court Orders Removal Of Word ‘Virgin’ From Marriage Certificates

According to a verdict given by the top court of Bangladesh, the word ‘virgin’ must be removed from Muslim marriage certificates.

The milestone decision has come after a campaign by rights groups who had advocated the removal of the ‘humiliating and discriminatory’ term.

In an interview with international media, the lawyer for the groups termed it a ‘landmark verdict’. The decision has come after a long legal journey of five years.

Under Bangladesh’s Muslim marriage laws, a bride has to select one of the three options on her marriage certificate, which include virgin (kumari), widow or divorced.

In a verdict on Sunday, Bangladesh’s apex court ordered the removal of the term and its replacement with ‘unmarried’.

The verdict regarding the case will be published in October and the changes will be enforced then.

Rights groups in Bangladesh have been critical of the term, which had been used on marriage certificates since their inception in 1961. Activists had argued that the term violated the privacy of the women getting married.

In South Asia’s conservative society, woman face such breaches of privacy when they are married. The decision is meant to put an end to such humiliating measures.


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