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Afghanistan: Women are regularly abused under pretence of ‘virginity tests’ – HRW


Women are regularly being sexually abused under the pretence of ‘virginity tests’ carried out on girls accused of pre-marital sex in Afghanistan, say Human Rights Watch

  • Women facing growing levels of violence in Afghanistan, organisation says
  • Many have faced ‘virginity exams’ having been accused of pre-marital sex
  • Virginity testing is a widely discredited practice in several conservative Islamic nations

Women are regularly being sexually abused under the pretence of ‘virginity tests’ carried out on girls accused of pre-marital sex in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch has claimed.

Many are facing growing levels of violence and harassment in Afghanistan more than 14 years after the Islamist Taliban regime was toppled from power by a 2001 US-led invasion.

Of 53 women and girls as young as 13 accused of pre-marital sex – punishable by up to 15 years in jail – 48 were subjected to virginity exams, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission found in a recent study.

Women are regularly being sexually abused under the pretence of 'virginity tests' carried out on girls accused of pre-marital sex in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch has claimed (file picture)

Nearly half of them were examined more than once, often in the presence of multiple people, according to the study which was highlighted in a new HRW report on Monday.

‘These so-called virginity exams are not just demeaning –- they constitute sexual assault and are often used as evidence against women in court for the ‘crime’ of zina, or sex outside of marriage,’ said HRW researcher Heather Barr.

‘The continued use of degrading and unscientific virginity exams by the Afghan government is part of a broader pattern of abuses in which women and girls are jailed on spurious ‘moral crimes’ accusations, often in situations where they are fleeing forced marriage or domestic violence.’

Virginity testing is a widely discredited practice in several conservative Islamic nations.

In 2014 the World Health Organization issued guidelines that the test had ‘no scientific validity’.

Many are facing growing levels of violence and harassment in Afghanistan more than 14 years after the Islamist Taliban regime was toppled from power by a 2001 US-led invasion (file picture) 

Many are facing growing levels of violence and harassment in Afghanistan more than 14 years after the Islamist Taliban regime was toppled from power by a 2001 US-led invasion (file picture).

‘The Afghan government should end arrests (for moral crimes) entirely and reform the law that permits them. Banning all ‘virginity exams’ could be an important first step toward reform,’ Barr said.

Afghanistan has witnessed a sea change in women’s rights since the ousting of the Taliban regime, with female lawmakers and even pilots now commonplace.

But gender equality remains a distant dream amid endemic violence against women and strong patriarchal attitudes.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Afghanistan: Women are regularly abused under pretence of ‘virginity tests’ – HRW

  1. This is what trillions of dollars, euros….etc and tens of thousands of lives, limbs, and eyes the United States and its allies (primarily NATO) sacrificed to establish – The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, a “kinder, gentler, misogynistic, brutal, depraved Islamic theocracy. Meanwhile, the elites in the same allied countries import Muslims by the hundreds of thousands annually, enabling the establishment and encroachment of Sharia, degrading their erstwhile civilized societies, threatening and eventually destroying their citizens way of life. The elites deserve Muslim hell and the Muslims their Paradise, without delay.

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    • “The elites deserve Muslim hell and the Muslims their Paradise, without delay.”
      But what about a bit of flanger, chorus and distortion? ☺

      ISLAM SUX, ALLAH SUX, MUHAMMAD SUX !!!

      Like

Published under FAIR USE of factual content citing US 17 U.S.C. § 107 fair use protection, Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and UK Section 30(1) of the 1988 Act.

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