How would you react if your virginity becomes the gateway to higher education? According to some members of Egyptian parliament, before female students are worthy of receiving higher education, they must prove that they are virgin. According to one parliamentary member Elhamy Agina, who last month spearheaded the campaign of FGM for women to be compulsory, has once again called on the Egyptian Minister of Education to introduce compulsory virginity test before girls are admitted to the universities.
Egypt which declared these kinds of tests illegal in 2011 when the Egyptian court outlawed the compulsory virginity tests to detainee as illegal and disgusting has really been shocked at the utterance of Elhamy Agina. Although women remain to be seen as a tool of sexual satisfaction in many countries like Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa where virginity is used as a measure to be given scholarships, this kind of practices only aim at downgrading the level of education among girls.
To strip them of their humanity by making them take a test is nothing short of unacceptable. We know in this 21st century that a virginity test doesn’t work. A number of things besides sex, including the physical strength, social standards, quality of education and parental guidance can affect whether a girl or a woman passes or fails. But more importantly, the use of what is between their legs for educational purpose is illegal and degrading to our mothers and sisters. They attempt to measure something which plainly has a zero impact on the woman’s ability to graduate from college. Women who have endured such kind of tests describe them as “traumatic, humiliating and more so horrifying” to them. They are just one form of sexual violence women face in their lives.