UN agencies urge end to 'virginity tests' in some countries

2018-10-18 08:14

UN agencies are calling for an end to the practice in some countries of determining whether a girl or woman is a virgin through gynecological tests.

The World Health Organisation, UN Women and the UN Human Rights office say the "medically unnecessary" tests have been documented in at least 20 countries across the world.

The agencies said on Wednesday the tests, mostly performed by doctors, police officers, or community leaders, are used to determine marriage eligibility or employment eligibility, and to assess the "virtue, honour or social value" of women and girls.

They said the testing often involves inspecting the hymen or inserting fingers into the vagina. It said WHO insists "there is no evidence that either method can prove whether a woman or girl has had vaginal intercourse or not".

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