' We all marry as Virgin '

Almost half of all abortions in Belgium happens to immigrant women.

Because they are badly informed or birth control is often too expensive, but also because they are burdened with a under standards to which they no longer meet. ' Many girls have sexual experience, but they all belong to their marriage to be Virgin. So is surgery or even abortion is often the only way out. ' The standard ten immigrant women to their early experiences with sex.

' Forty to fifty percent? ' Drita, an Albanian from Kosovo, is surprised when they hear that almost half of all abortions in Belgium at immigrant women-but not because they rate high. Along with the nine other women around the table Drita forms a team of intercultural mediators: women of foreign origin that accompany other immigrant women as they go to the doctor, contact a parent or the Court must (see box).

' I would have expected that at least sixty percent of the abortions would be here on behalf of immigrant women. Over the past few years, I have sometimes up to ten women per day accompanied an abortion wanted. Many of them are in the country illegally and have no money for contraception or for bringing up a child. But often it is also about young girls who are sexually active but according to their tradition to their marriage should remain Virgin. '

Fatima: ' most Muslim girls here today have sexual experience, but if they do marry them as if they were Virgin, because as it should according to our tradition. They leave their hymen just stitching up again, that happens very often in Brussels sick-houses. Or they make their point that they still a Virgin man. '

Hamida: ' I know women who with their daughter or daughter-in-law to the hospital because they want a certificate that the girl is still a Virgin. Getting married and not a Virgin anymore, is a shame. Even around this table, we are working on it: we may talk with each other about sexuality, we marry all as Virgin-whether we really were on our marriage, we will not tell each other. '

Zakia: ' A friend of mine has celebrated her marriage in Casablanca and the party there could only start if the proof of her virginity was delivered. So had to her husband and they have sex in a room fast-fast. The pressure was huge on the duration, she said to her husband: '' go ahead but, so we rid., and then it became bloodied cloth on a scale and on the dance floor. It is an extreme example, but it exists. I myself have the proof of my defloration only to my mother and mother-in-law. Not that my husband stood out immediately, but then everything was fine. '

Hamida: ' of course you can also cheat: cutting yourself here in the arm so that you bleed, or paint. Some women bleed if they are deflowered, but also there are tricks for: lemon for example. There is even a book on the market that combines all those tips (laughs). '

Fatima: ' one of my best girl friends already had a relationship, and was not a Virgin more when she met the boy with whom she wanted to marry. They were already engaged, but shortly before the wedding she found that they had to play open card. So she told him frankly that she was not a Virgin anymore. '' It's very courageous that you tells me,, he said, '' but I can't marry you., I have asked her what she is going to do in the future if they have a new relationship, and now she is silent. '' Then I let me operate or so, but I say it in each case, is no more, her response. '

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