The Human Rights Watch has issued a rather shocking report that Indonesia continues to require medical exams for female police recruits to confirm that they are virgins. It is the latest example of the abuses and challenges facing women who try to find work in some countries. Other countries with such virginity tests include our erstwhile allies Egypt, India and Afghanistan.
Female officers and recruits described the so called “two-finger” test to determine whether their hymens are intact. The test was performed in at least six different cities. Incredibly, Indonesia’s national police posts the following warning on its website according to the group:
“In addition to the medical and physical tests, women who want to be policewomen must also undergo virginity tests. So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity.”
Maj. Gen. Ronny Sompie has publicly defended the outrageous practice and asked people not “respond negatively” to the tests and insisted that they are aimed at ensuring applicants were free from sexually transmitted diseases. However, even if STDs are for some reason a priority in such recruitment, both male and female recruits also get blood tests for STDs. It is difficult to see how an intact hymen is relevant to that goal. Nevertheless, Sompie insisted that the tests are “done in a professional manner and did not harm the applicants.”
That would of course depend on your definition of “harm.”