BAGHDAD: Iraqi women face court-ordered virginity tests that often show they were virgins until marriage but shame them nonetheless.
Remaining a virgin till marriage can be an issue of life or death for women in the Mideast, where those seen as having dishonoured the family by having premarital sex are sometimes killed by male relatives.
Several virginity tests are performed daily at the Medical Legal Institute (MLI) in Baghdad, in a small windowless room with blue-tiled walls and a black table with leg stirrups at one end.
“Most of the cases we receive after the first day of marriage,” said Dr Munjid al-Rezali, director of the MLI.
The man may be tested for impotency, Rezali said, noting that in some cases, a man with erectile dysfunction may pretend the woman was not a virgin to hide his shame. – Sapa-AFP