Virginity tests for bursaries are unconstitutional - gender equality commission

2016-06-17 13:44
(File)

(File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

KZN virgin scholarship is unconstitutional - activist

2016-01-26 15:35

Women's rights activists have criticised a municipality for offering scholarships to virgins. Watch Shaheema McLeod unpack why this points to a bigger issue when it comes to sex education in South Africa.WATCH

Cape Town – The uThukela District Municipality’s Maidens Bursary Award is unlawful, unfair, unreasonable and unconstitutional, and should be discontinued, the Commission for Gender Equality has said.

And the recipients should keep their bursaries, without having to be subjected to more tests, the commission added.

The commission on Friday released its report on the bursary, which was given to 16 young women from the uThukela District Municipality on condition that they remained "pure".

CGE CEO Keketso Maema told media that the commission had found the issuing of study bursaries only to virgin female students to be discriminatory.

"It violates their constitutional right to equality, dignity and privacy. Culture and cultural practise should not be used as a factor to exclude those who do not subscribe...  from benefiting or receiving from services provided by government," she said.

The commission found that the bursary scheme failed to take into account circumstances beyond the control of the recipients, such as rape, that may lead to loss of virginity.

The recipients had to undergo virginity testing every holiday to ensure they were not sexually active.

The municipality introduced the new category of bursaries during its Mayoral Matric Excellence Awards on January 11 this year.

The virginity scheme amounted to a gender discriminatory practice against the girls, the commission found, as it created an additional burden on them to "remain virgins", without imposing the same burden of responsibility on boys through a similar scheme.

The commission also found that the district municipality had failed in its constitutional obligations.

The commission has recommended that the scheme be discontinued.

"The students awarded should retain their bursary without further virginity testing," she said.

The report had been handed over to the municipality, the commission said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.