Vigilance Against Virginity Testing

In Afghanistan, where women’s sexuality falls under legal jurisdiction, “invasive and scientifically dubious” virginity tests are common for women under suspicion.
Some doctors exchange bribes for favorable results. Others repair the hymen of women who have been raped to help them avoid their families’ wrath.
Despite a presidential ban, the practice persists—but government health workers are now required to take anti-virginity testing workshops.
For trainers, conveying their message requires multiple approaches: “Just putting forth the legal reasoning is not enough in Afghanistan, and we have to connect it to the religion to convey our message,” says trainer Kubra Panahi.


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