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Rights groups Condemns ‘Virginity Tests’ in Afghanistan

As per the Human Rights Watch Dogs. The use of “virginity testing” has been recorded in a number of countries worldwide. Out of which Afghanistan, authorities routinely subject women and girls accused of pre-marital sex, zina to “virginity tests” by government doctors.

AIHRC recent study found that, of 53 women and girls as young as 13 accused of pre-marital sex, punishable by up to 15 years in jail and 48 were subjected to virginity exams.

Heather Barr, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch’s women’s (HRW) rights division, criticised the exams as “unscientific” and “bogus.” And according to the report presented by HRW on Monday says that the virginity exam was carried out more than once and in the presence of multiple people.

‘These so-called virginity exams are not just demeaning they constitute sexual assault and are often used as evidence against women in court for the ‘crime’ of zina, or sex outside of marriage,’ said Heather Barr.

She said.”Many people mistakenly believe that virginity can be determined because the hymen is always broken when a woman or girl has sexual intercourse for the first time.

“This is simply not true. Some girls are born without a hymen; hymens often break during daily non-sexual activities, and some hymens remain intact after sexual intercourse,” Barr said.

“Afghan President Ashraf Ghani could abolish these exams through an executive order. Recognising everyone’s inherent dignity, respecting human rights, and appreciating real science over pseudo-science all demand he do so.”

“Virginity tests” have been recognized internationally as a violation of human rights, government should end degrading, discriminatory, and unscientific “virginity testing” of women and girls.