Virginity tests are still very common before marriage in Morocco, causing debate and skirmishes.
Rabat – In October, Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said in response to a World Health Organization (WHO) call that virginity tests are not legally required in Morocco. However, Spanish outlet EFE raised the issue of virginity tests in Morocco, saying that the government has ignored the WHO‘s call to “prohibit virginity tests.”
The Spanish news agency noted that virginity tests are still common “every time there is a report of rape” and before marriage. In October, WHO called for a ban of virginity testing for women and girls worldwide, including in Morocco.
“There is no examination that can prove a girl or woman has had sex—and the appearance of girl’s or woman’s hymen cannot prove whether they have had sexual intercourse, or are sexually active or not,” WHO said.
According to EFE, El Khalfi repeated his statement that virginity tests are “not obligatory.”
The Spanish news outlet also quoted WHO representative in Morocco Maryam Bigdeli, who said that pre-marriage virginity tests are not imposed as an obligation.
According to Morocco’s family code, a bride and groom are asked for a medical certificate as a required document before marriage but not a virginity test.
The medical certificate is to prove the health status of a couple before marriage, as well as to check for any infectious diseases that may need treatment before marriage.
Virginity has been under debate for years. Activists and associations have called on the Ministry of Health to exempt medical doctors from giving virginity certificates.
In February, the Moroccan Association of Sexology said that the test violates both doctors’ oaths of medical confidentiality and the right to privacy of women and girls.