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Bangladesh Scraps Years-old Marriage Law

Women face a string of absurd rules all over the world and the fight for equality is still raging. In that fight, a small victory has been achieved by Bangladesh. It is a Muslim-majority country, where marriage laws stated that a bride had to state on her marriage certificate if she was a “kumari”- meaning virgin- a widow or divorced. But in an epic verdict the nation’s High Court ruled that women will no longer have to declare if they are virgins on marriage  certificates. The women’s rights groups have been fighting for this for five years trying to protect women’s privacy and potential humiliation. Now the grooms will have to disclose whether he was unmarried, divorced or a widower. Ainun Nahar Siddiqua said that in 2014 a writ petition to change in the form provided under the 1974 Bangladesh Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act was filed. Siddiqua says that the ruling has sparked a ray of hope in them that they can fight and create more changes for women in the future. Although there was no comment from any government official but a Muslim marriage registrar from Dhaka expressing his views regarding the verdict said,

“I have conducted many marriages in Dhaka and I have often been asked why men have the liberty to not disclose their status but women don’t. I always told them this wasn’t in my hands. I guess I won’t be asked that question anymore.”


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