18 Oct 2016
Eliminate Demeaning Virginity Tests Mandates in Egypt!
Before you’re worthy of receiving higher education, you must prove that you’re a virgin, according to some members of Egyptian Parliament.
Parliamentary member Elhamy Agina has a history of disregarding women’s rights. Last month he suggested women undergo female genital mutilation to “reduce their sexual desires.” Now, he’s calling on the Egyptian Minister of Education to require unlawful and invasive virginity tests before girls enter university.
We know by now that virginity tests don’t work. A number of things besides sex, including physical activity, can affect whether a woman passes or fails. But more importantly, they are illegal and degrading to women. They attempt to measure something that has zero affect on a woman’s ability to graduate college. Women who have endured such tests describe them as “traumatic,” “humiliating,” and “horrifying.” They are just one more form of sexual violence women are faced with in their lives.
Egypt has already declared these disgusting tests illegal. In 2011, virginity tests conducted on female Egyptian detainees was outlawed by an Egyptian court. Elhamy Agina has apparently forgotten this ruling.
Globally, women are already far less likely to be able to attend college due to circumstances out of their control. To strip them of their humanity by making them take a fake test is nothing short of unacceptable. Tell the Egyptian Minister of Education now: reject all mandates requiring virginity tests.