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 Bangladesh’s top court on Sunday (August 25) directed the Government to remove the word ‘Virgin’ from Muslim marriage certificates which is a landmark verdict after campaigners challenged the “humiliating and discriminatory” term, an attorney said. 

Under the South Asian country’s Muslim marriage laws, a bride has to select one of three options on the certificate – whether she is a Kumari (virgin), a widow or divorced.

In a brief verdict on Sunday, the court ordered the government to remove the term and replace it with “unmarried”, said deputy attorney general Amit Talukder.

“It is a landmark verdict,” Aynun Nahar Siddiqua, a lawyer for the groups which filed the case challenging the term in 2014 said.

Rights groups have long criticized the term – used in certificates since they were introduced in 1961 – saying it is “humiliating and discriminatory”, and that it breaches the privacy of the woman getting married.

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The court also ordered authorities to introduce the options “unmarried, widower or divorced” for the groom on the certificate.

Bangladesh is the world’s third-largest Muslim majority nation and nearly 90% of its 168 million populations are Muslims.

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