Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Indonesian police criticised over virginity tests

18 November 2014, 20:55

Jakarta - Indonesia's national police were urged Tuesday to halt virginity tests for women applying to join the force in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country with Human Rights Watch saying the practice was harmful and humiliating.

The rights group said women applicants are required to be both unmarried and virgins, and the virginity test is still widely used despite the insistence of some senior police officials that the practice has been discontinued.

In a series of interviews with HRW, young women, including some who underwent the test as recently as this year, described the procedure as painful and traumatic.

The women told how they were forced to strip naked before female medics gave them a "two-finger test", to see if their hymens were intact, a practice described by HRW as archaic and discredited.

"I don't want to remember those bad experiences. It was humiliating," said one 19-year-woman who took the test in the city of Pekanbaru, on western Sumatra island, and whose identity was not disclosed.

Also read: Stripped Kayole woman not dead, says hospital

"Why should we take off our clothes in front of strangers? It is not necessary. I think it should be stopped."

Nisha Varia, associate women's rights director at HRW, described the tests as "a discriminatory practice that harms and humiliates women.

"Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it."

The tests contravene the police's own guidelines on recruitment and violate international human rights to equality, non-discrimination and privacy, HRW said.

Police spokesman Ronny Sompie said a "comprehensive health test" was carried out on all applicants, and officials wanted to ensure that candidates were free from sexually transmitted diseases.

He said the discovery that a woman was not a virgin did not necessarily mean she would fail the application process.

However HRW said that a posting on the police's own website this month noted that female applicants must be virgins.

National Police High Commissioner Sri Rumiati told the rights group that colleagues had opposed her calls in 2010 to stop the tests and asked: "Do we want to have prostitutes joining the police?"

Women currently make up about three percent of the 400,000-strong force, HRW said, but added the police had launched a drive to increase the number of female officers.

Society is deeply conservative in parts of Indonesia and some still value female virginity highly.

The issue hit the headlines last year, when the education chief of a city sparked outrage by suggesting that teenage schoolgirls should undergo virginity tests to enter senior high school.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM beats Jubilee in 3 by-electio...

ODM dominates Jubilee Party in by elections.

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Kenyan ivory seized in Vietnam

Vietnamese authorities have seized 1 tonne of ivory smuggled from Kenya, the fifth such seizure in the past month. Read more...

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...