• Monday, Oct 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:13 am

Indonesian army ends 'virginity tests' on female cadets

  • Published at 06:19 pm August 11th, 2021
Indonesian Army in trainning
File Photo: Indonesian army soldiers carry their weapons during the last day of a seven-day training exercise in Sukabumi, West Java province on December 6, 2006 Reuters

The military previously said the tests were important in determining recruits' morality

The Indonesian army has ended a controversial practice of virginity tests on women who apply to become cadets, according to its chief of staff, a move welcomed by activists who have long campaigned against it.

"Two-finger tests," where doctors check the hymen of female recruits to try to determine their virginity, was systematic, abusive and cruel, according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), which conducted investigations in 2014 into the practice and in 2017 renewed calls for it to end.

The military previously said the tests were important in determining recruits' morality. The World Health Organization has said they have "no scientific validity" and the appearance of a hymen was not a reliable indicator of intercourse.

Andika Perkasa, the Indonesian army chief of staff, told reporters on Tuesday that such tests no longer took place in the army.

"Whether the hymen was ruptured or partially ruptured was part of the examination ... now there's no more of that," he said, in comments that were confirmed by a military spokesman.

Andika last week said that the army selection process for male and female recruits must be equal.

The navy conducted pregnancy tests on women applicants, but no specific virginity tests, its spokesperson Julius Widjojono said on Wednesday, adding "both men and women undergo the same examinations."

Indan Gilang, an air force spokesperson, said female reproduction tests were undertaken to check for cysts or other complications that could impair recruits' ability to serve, adding that "virginity tests" did not exist in the force's terminology.

Human rights groups welcomed the announcement that the army had ceased the practice.

"There was never any need for the tests," said Andy Yentriyani, head of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan).

Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher at HRW said it was "the right thing to do", adding the practice was "degrading, discriminatory, and traumatic."

He said HRW had spoken to more than 100 female military recruits who underwent the tests, one of whom said she was subjected to it in 1965. 

Facebook 61
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail