United Nations agencies call for ban on ‘virginity testing’
Abrar Hussain of DOT
United Nations agencies made a global call yesterday for eradicating virginity testing, which is medically unnecessary & often painful.
Virginity testing, a gynaecological examination conducted with the belief that it determines whether a woman or girl has had vaginal intercourse, must end, said UN Human Rights, UN Women and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The organizations made the joint statement during the World Congress of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, calling for the humiliating and traumatic practice to be banned.
Virginity testing is an age-old tradition that has been recognised and tracked across at least 20 countries spanning all regions of the world.
Usually, women and girls are subjected, and most often forced, to undergo virginity testing. These include requests from parents or potential partners to establish marriage eligibility, or even from employers for employment eligibility.
The practice is mostly performed by doctors, police officers, or community leaders on women and girls to ‘calculate’ their virtue, honor or social value. In a few regions, virginity testing is performed by health professionals on victims of rape, to determine whether rape occurred.
WHO recommends that this test should not be performed under any circumstances, adding that the execution of this medically needless and detrimental test violates several human rights and ethical standards including the fundamental principle in medicine to ‘do no harm’.
Many women suffer from detrimental short and long-term physical, mental and social consequences of this practice. This includes anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress; moreover, in extreme cases many females may attempt suicide or be killed in the name of ‘honor’.
-Source: Health Europa