Soon, Muslim brides in Bangladesh, a South Asian country, will not have to show whether they are 'virgins' on their marriage certificates. As the civil rights person commented, stopping the use of this' term of humiliation and discrimination against women 'is a great progress.
Muslims account for about 90% of the country's 168 million population, ranking third in absolute number in all countries. Here, Muslim brides must choose one of the three options on the marriage certificate to indicate their personal status: Kumari (virgin), widow or divorced; The groom doesn't need it. The practice of this option stems from the document format stipulated in the Muslim marriage act of 1974.
Amit talukder, Deputy Attorney General of Bangladesh, told AFP that the Supreme Court of Bangladesh had made a ruling on Sunday and ordered the government to delete the word "virgin" from the marriage certificate and replace it with "unmarried". The ruling also ordered the government to provide the groom with the option of 'unmarried, widowed or divorced' on the certificate.
In 2014, Bangladesh's' legal aid and Services Foundation 'and other organizations took the terms of the word' virgin 'on the marriage certificate to court with a petition. Aynun Nahar siddiqua, a lawyer representing the case, told Reuters that 'asking someone if they are virgins violates the other party's right to privacy'. It was not until last Sunday that this backward practice was officially decided to withdraw from the stage of history.
Regarding the Supreme Court's decision, siddiqua said: 'this is a landmark decision. This ruling makes us believe that we can strive for more rights and make more changes for women in the future. "
Statistics on child marriage of girls in Bangladesh. Source: girlsnotbrides. The complete written document of this ruling will not be issued until mid October. Whether it can be implemented as soon as possible depends on the implementation will and strength of various government departments.
Anisul Huq, Minister of justice, justice and Parliamentary Affairs of Bangladesh, told CNN: 'I am waiting for them to issue a solemn judgment. I'll read every word carefully and see how to respond. "
In Bangladesh, the situation of women's rights has been worrying. Nahar kamrun, a lawyer in Bangladesh, told CNN: "our constitution expressly stipulates equality between men and women, but in practice, such as these forms of documents related to marriage, this is not the case."
The legal age of marriage in Bangladesh is 18 for women and 21 for men. In 2017, the Bangladesh parliament passed legislation stipulating that if parents or other guardians think it is in their 'best interests', they can apply to the court to make an exception to allow girls under the age of 18 to marry as designated by their parents. There is no minimum age for marriage in this law, nor is there any interpretation of 'best interests'. Human rights groups worry that the law may force rape victims or pregnant minors to marry abusers.
According to the data of girls not brides, a famous aid organization opposed to girls' child marriage, Bangladesh ranks fourth in the world in child marriage rate. 59 per cent of girls married before the age of 18 and 22 per cent before the age of 15.
In terms of absolute population, Bangladesh has the second largest number of child marriage girls in the world, with a total of 4.45 million.