Rights Group Wants End for Ongoing Virginity Test in Indonesian Security Forces

The Human Rights Watch has called for an end to the abusive practice of virginity tests within the Indonesia’s military and police institutions, which it says has continued to be implemented despite a reprimand by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The Indonesian government’s continuing tolerance for abusive ‘virginity tests’ by the security forces reflects an appalling lack of political will to protect the rights of Indonesian women,” said Nisha Varia, women’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, as quoted by the Independent .

The rights group says that it has received information from senior police and military officers who say that the two institutions still carry out the “cruel and discriminatory tests” which are imposed on new recruits as part of psychological examinations for mental health and morality reasons.

The testing, which includes the invasive “two-finger test” to determine whether female applicants’ hymens are intact has continued to be used in Indonesia even after it has been deemed scientifically baseless by the World Health Organization in its 2014 2014 clinical guidelines for health care of sexually abused women.

Based on its survey regarding the abusive tests, Human Rights Watch said that while applicants that “failed” the test were not necessarily sanctioned, all of the women it spoke with described the test as painful, embarrassing, and traumatic.

The group urged President Joko Widodo to order the country’s National Police chief and military commander to ban the test, which has been used in the case of the military force, for decades in Indonesia.

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