27 December, 2011

Virginity Tests

Egyptian courts have made it illegal for military prisons to conduct "virginity" tests on their female inmates The BBC reports.The decision comes after a female protester accused the army of forcing her to undergo said test when she was arrested earlier this year. 

"(A)n Egyptian general was quoted as acknowledging that the military had conducted such tests, saying that they were used so women would not later claim they had been raped by authorities (BBC)." 

Human rights groups say it is a form of abuse and has often been used a form of punishment. 

Amnesty International reports that, "women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges" (AI)."

AI goes on to say that, "Its purpose is to degrade women because they are women." 

Here is a video from CNN on the story: