Human Rights Watch have recently documented the practice of “virginity tests” for police women in countries such as Indonesia, Egypt, India and Afghanistan. Young female police recruits in those countries start their careers with the “two-finger test” to assess if they are virgins. Young female applicants are asked to strip naked, spread their legs wide open and lie down on a bed. A female inspector then uses her two fingers to check and see whether the applicants hymen are intact or not.
The watchdog interviewed female police officers in six Indonesian cities to find out about the odd practice.
The video with the interviews is now posted on the Human Rights Watchdog official YouTube feed. The women, hiding their faces from cameras and concealing their names, say they had to go through the pain and humiliation of the ‘two-finger test’, which HRW describes as an archaic and discredited practice.
“Entering the virginity test examination room was really upsetting,” one 24-year-old woman recalls. “I feared that after they performed the test I would not be a virgin anymore. It really hurt. My friend even fainted because … it really hurt, really hurt.”
The requirement for undergoing the test is posted on Indonesia national police’s official website.
“In addition to the medical and physical tests, women who want to be policewomen [sic] must also undergo virginity tests,” it reads. “So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity.”
“I don’t want to remember those bad experiences,” a 19-year-old woman said. “It was humiliating. Why should we take off our clothes in front of strangers? Yes, [the virginity testers] were women, but they were total strangers. It was discriminatory. It is not necessary. I think it should be stopped.”
Last year, some education officials in Indonesia proposed that virginity tests be introduced for teenage schoolgirls, causing an uproar.