Bangladeshi women no longer required to say whether they are virgins on marriage certificate

Women in Bangladesh are no longer required to declare if they are virgins on marriage registration forms, the country’s top court has ruled.

In the Muslim-majority country, a bride had to state if they were divorced, a widow or “kumari”, a Bengali word meaning “virgin”, on their marriage deed, or “Kabinnama”. 

The high court ordered that “virgin” be replaced with “unmarried”. The other two options on the form – “widow” and “divorced” – remain unchanged.Bangladesh High Court orders govt to replace 'virgin' with 'unmarried' on marriage certificate for women

Women’s rights groups – who had argued the word “virgin” was humiliating – welcomed Sunday’s verdict.

Separately, the court said grooms now also must declare their marital status.

Marriage laws in the Muslim-majority Bangladesh have been criticised by women’s rights groups as restrictive and discriminatory.

Marriage laws in the Muslim-majority Bangladesh have been criticised by women’s rights groups as restrictive and discriminatory.

Many girls in the country are forced into arranged marriages at a very young age.

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