Iraqi women face court ordered virginity tests
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Iraqi women face court ordered virginity tests from Barry Sommer
Iraqi women face court-ordered virginity tests that often show they were virgins until marriage but shame them nonetheless.
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 dishonored 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 are received after the first day of marriage,” said Dr. Munjid al-Rezali, the director of the MLI.
“The husband claims that she is not a virgin and then the family brings her here through the courts.
This all come through the courts and we examine her,” Rezali said, speaking in English.
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