For those who continue to wonder why many of us focus on both feminism and atheism, take a look at this article about courts in Iraq ordering virginity tests for women in that country if their new husbands claim that they weren’t virgins. The price of failing such a test can include being killed by their fathers or brothers.
Remaining a virgin until marriage can be an issue of life or death for women in the Middle East, where those who are seen as having dishonoured the family by having premarital sex are sometimes killed by male relatives.
An average of several virginity tests are performed per day 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.
Other equipment includes a white scope on a wheeled stand and a bright white light, also on wheels, near the end of the table.
“Most of the cases we received after the first day of marriage,” said Dr Munjid al-Rezali, the director of the MLI.
“The husband claim that she is not a virgin, and then the family bring her here, through the courts, this all come through the courts, and we examine her,” Rezali said, speaking in English.
“It’s not uncommon, we are seeing a lot,” he added.
Religious barbarism at its worst.