WHO Condemns ‘Virginity Tests’ as HRW Calls for a Universal Ban

Virginity tests being rape, sexual violence against girls and women, gender assaults.

TIME

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urges governments to end the “virgin testing” of women and girls, in accordance with the recommendation of a new handbook released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The handbook emphasizes: “There is no place for virginity (or ‘two-finger’) testing; it has no scientific validity.”

Though focusing on health care after sexual and domestic violence, HRW claims that the recommendation has relevance for all cases of “virginity testing.”

“The WHO handbook upholds the widely accepted medical view that ‘virginity tests’ are worthless,” says Liesl Gerntholtz, women’s rights director at HRW. “Health authorities worldwide should end the practice of ‘virginity testing’ in all cases and prohibit health workers from perpetuating this discriminatory and degrading practice.”

HRW notes that the test is applied in many parts of the world. In Afghanistan, it is routinely used on women and girls accused of “moral crimes” such as “running away,” usually…

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