08/26/2021, 11.45
INDONESIA
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Jakarta: army abolishes humiliating 'virginity test' for women

by Mathias Hariyadi

Recruits will no longer have to undergo this traumatic practice to enter the country's armed forces. This form of violence had been denounced several times by human rights activists. Indonesian Catholic Women's Organisation: 'Abuse against women must be avoided in all workplaces'.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Indonesian army will no longer conduct virginity tests on female recruits. This was reported by the head of Indonesia's military, General Andika Perkasa, saying that the test, introduced in 1965, has also been abolished in the navy and air force and that men and women will now go through the same selection process.

Known in Indonesia as the "two-finger test" because of the way doctors checked that the hymen was intact, according to the Indonesian military it was used to determine the morality of new recruits and was later defended as an exam to assess women's physical health. 

In reality, it was a humiliating and traumatic form of violence that human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have denounced for decades. The World Health Organization had also reiterated that to determine a person's virginity, this type of exam has no scientific validity. The Indonesian police had abolished the test in 2015.

The president of the Indonesian Catholic Women's Organization, Justina Rostiawati, expressed her joy at the news to AsiaNews, "For years we have opposed this violent practice against women." Rostiawati is a former commissioner for women's human rights and now president of the oldest Catholic association in Indonesia. "When this practice came into effect, new recruits could not oppose it," she continued. "Abuse against women should be prevented in all workplaces."

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