Fake hymen kit advertisement creates ripple in Egypt | world | Hindustan Times
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Fake hymen kit advertisement creates ripple in Egypt

world Updated: Oct 09, 2009 09:16 IST

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The radio advertisement of fake hymen kit by a Chinese company has caused ripple in Egypt with Muslim conservative groups demanding ban on the product, which the moderates see as "a tool of empowerment for women".

The translated version of the advertisement of artificial hymen or virginity faking kit mentions that the Chinese firm Gigimo is ready to ship the 30-dollar kit to any place in the Middle East.

Since the traditional belief that the breaking of hymen (vaginal valve) during first intercourse causes bleeding, the artificial hymen leaks a blood-like substance when broken.

Conservatives fear that newly married women to fool their husbands about their virginity, an essential factor to define women's character in the Islamic country where pre-marital sex is illegal, can use the product.

Sheik Sayed Askar, member of Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's main opposition group and a constituent of the parliamentary committee on religious affairs, said the kit is against the Egyptian and Arab values.

"It will be a mark of shame on the ruling party if it allows this product to enter the market," he said.

However, according to Marwa Rakha, an author, the product is "a tool of empowerment for women in Arab culture that restricts women's sexual urges but turns a blind eye to men gallivanting". "It sticks in the face of every male hypocrite," she said.

According to medical experts, bleeding is not a definite sign of virginity.

"A female might very well be a virgin and not bleed when the hymen is broken for the first time," said Dr Heba Qotb.

Though the broken hymen can be reattached through medical procedure, the practice is banned in Egypt. Nevertheless, several women get this treatment secretly to avoid punishment for pre-marital sex, said Yahi Al-Rakhawi, professor of psychiatry.