Published: August 6, 2021
General Andika Perkasa, the chief of staff of the Indonesian Army has batted for a fair recruitment system, equal for men and women. Human Rights Watch called “virginity tests” abusive, unscientific, and discriminatory.
Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Army Andika Perkasa has apparently announced that virginity will no longer be required as a qualification for females to join the nation’s army.
After a decades-long run, the Indonesian Army has put an end to the “two-finger” test that allowed doctors to check if a woman was a virgin before joining the forces.
In a teleconference with military commanders around Indonesia, General Perkasa said that moving forward, military recruits will be chosen on the basis of their forces-related knowledge, education, and abilities.
“There will be no more [medical] examination outside that purpose. There are things that are not relevant … And [we] can’t do that kind of examination anymore. We must do the same examination on the women recruits like we do on the men recruits”, the chief of staff stated.
The Air Force and Navy of Indonesia are also likely to follow this decision and abolish the “virginity” criteria for women to join the security forces, media reports said.
A video of the army official announcing the historic decision in a local dialect has been uploaded on YouTube.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier said that there is no scientific method to prove a woman’s virginity.
Medical experts from around the world have often highlighted that the hymen inside the vagina is delicate, and has been known to break due to periods, exercising, and even consuming spicy food.
“Virginity testing is often performed by inspecting the hymen for tears or its size of opening, and/or inserting fingers into the vagina (the ‘two-finger’ test). [The] WHO states that there is no evidence that either method can prove whether a woman or girl has had vaginal intercourse or not”, the WHO said in a 2018 report.
India, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iraq are some countries that have criminalised virginity testing. England and Wales are also discussing taking a measure against hymen testing.