Because one is expected to be a virgin on their wedding day, young women in Tunisia have resorted to having hymen reconstruction surgery to avoid been sent back to their parents after the wedding.
According to BBC, young Tunisian women are tuning to hymenoplasty, a short procedure that promises to reconstruct her virginity surgically. The young women spend as much as &400 for the procedure to prevent future shame.
One such woman who has decided to turn to science to regain her lost virginity is 28 year old woman Yasmine. Yasmine lost her virginity while living abroad to one man but now is afraid her husband will find out she is not a virgin after they get married.
Though she has agreed to the surgery, she considers this procedure a lie and one day the husband might suspect or find out about the sham.
"I consider this to be deception and I'm really worried," says Jasmine whose wedding is in two months.
BBC reporter Sihem Hassaini who accompanied Jasmine to the clinic for the procedure was shocked to discover a bunch of other women waiting for the 30 minute procedure to reconstruct their hymen.
Jasmine took months to save for the procedure while keeping every detail secret from her family.
According to Rashid, the doctor to carry out the surgery on Jasmine, most of his young patients are driven by the fear of bringing shame to their family and relatives when discovered they are not virgins.
The doctor said though many doctors refuses to do the surgery, he does it because he disagrees with those who make virginity a sort of sacred thing.
The annoyed doctor said he blamed the male-dominated society that hides in some religious principles.
“I mean it when I say its male dominance and I'll continue to wage an all-out war against it," he says.
Tunisia is regarded as a leader in women's rights in North Africa but religion and tradition here dictate that young women have to remain virgins until they are married.
There is also provision in Tunisian law for divorce in cases where women are discovered not to be virgins.
Many have termed Tunisia culture hypocritical as a woman doesn’t necessary have to have relations with a man to lose her virginity. Hymens can tear for other reasons too, including tampon use, cycling among other things.
And as the definition of virginity gets blurry, women in Tunisia will continue to worry that they may be accused, falsely, of having had sex before marriage and will seek this procedure to save themselves and families from shame.