Demonstration of a woman’s virginity on the wedding night remains crucial to the whole family’s honour. FGM is considered as a way of ensuring this. The symbolic “opening” of a woman by her husband is in some cultures considered a vital part of consummating the marriage

“An educated man back home in Sudan brought his wife to the doctor because she did not bleed on the wedding night… The doctor tried to explain that there are different types of hymens, some do not bleed, that she was a virgin, but even so the man divorced her”