OLD-FASHIONED LAW

‘Virgin’ slot in Muslim marriage papers is unfair

Women can lose their virginity in other ways that are not sexual

In Summary

• If they insist on virginity, many women will not be married. 

• There is not a clause requiring men to declare their virginity. 

Muslim women commemorate World Hijab Day in Lamu.
RIGHTS BREACH: Muslim women commemorate World Hijab Day in Lamu.
Image: FILE

There has been a debate on what a woman should declare before a wedding and which is included in the marriage certificate. 

Other people have argued that the couples know each other's status but in Muslim law, a woman has to declare her virginity before the marriage. But women can lose their virginity in such ways as accidents, rape, sporting activities among others that are not necessarily sexual. 

Therefore, if they insist on virginity, many women will not be married. But why don't they have a clause which dictates that men should also be virgins?

This rule is, therefore, discriminatory and aimed at shaming women and interfering with marriage institutions. I have not seen women rights activists or lobby groups complaining about this clause and the effects it will have on society and future generations. 

The man may love the woman, but the parents and relatives man interfere in the marriage based on this clause. Let this archaic or old-fashioned law be deleted from the marriage certificate as it takes people backwards. 

 

Mombasa