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Gbese: In Tunisia, Non-Virgins Can Become Virgins Again for $400

Tunisia is experiencing a growing trade in hymen reconstruction surgery following increased expectation of young women to be virgins when they marry from the society.

Reports of young women here being divorced shortly after marrying because their husbands suspected they were not virgins abounds.

Yasmine (not her real name) was born into a liberal family and spent many years living abroad. She fears her fiancé will cancel their wedding if he knows the truth about her sexual history.

"I had an affair once with a man," she says. "At that time, I couldn't imagine how huge the pressure was in my society and what the consequences could be.

"So now I am afraid. If I reveal this to my fiancé, I'm quite sure our wedding will be cancelled."

She will now have to pay almost $400 (£310) for the procedure, which will take about 30 minutes. She said she's been saving up the money for several months, keeping it secret from her family and her fiancé.

A doctor who will perform the surgery, "Yasmine" said he does two hymenoplasties a week, on average.

"Gynaecologists do hymen repair. This is nothing exceptional," Rachid says. "But here some doctors refuse to do it. I personally do it because I disagree with those who make virginity a sort of sacred thing.

"It really annoys me. This is a manifestation of a male-dominated society covered up in some religious principles. I mean it when I say it's male dominance and I'll continue to wage an all-out war against it."

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