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Female students in Indonesia may be forced to undergo ‘virginity tests’

August 23rd, 2013

A plan to make female high school students undergo mandatory virginity tests has been met with outrage from activists, who argue that it discriminates against women and violates their human rights.

Education chief Muhammad Rasyid, of Prabumulih district in south Sumatra put forward the idea, describing it as “an accurate way to protect children from prostitution and free sex”. He said he would use the city budget to begin tests early next year if MPs approved the proposal.

“This is for their own good,” Rasyid said. “Every woman has the right to virginity … we expect students not to commit negative acts.”

The test would require female senior school students aged 16 to 19 to have their hymen examined every year until graduation. Boys, however, would undergo no investigation into whether they had had sex.

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“Virginity is sacred, thus it’s a disgrace for a [female] student to lose her virginity before getting married,” Hasrul Azwar of the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) told the Jakarta Post.

India’s Acid Attack Problem

July 10th, 2013

India’s Supreme Court has criticized the government for not being serious about preventing acid attacks, setting a July 16 deadline for a framework to be put in place to regulate over-the-counter sales of acids often used in such attacks.

These acids are easily available. Wednesday, India Real Time purchased a liter of hydrochloric acid – branded “Power” – from a small general store in a south Delhi neighborhood selling other goods like potato chips and cookies. The clear bottle carries a picture of a lion, beneath which it says “for industrial use” and “caution.” It cost 20 rupees ($0.33). Hydrochloric acid can burn through flesh.

Laxmi was left badly scarred on her face, arms and chest after she was attacked with acid in 2005.

U.K.-based Acid Survivors Trust International says about 1,500 acid attacks are reported worldwide every year. There are no official figures for India, but New Delhi-based group Stop Acid Attacks says around three cases are reported nationwide each week. Most of the victims are women and attacks are often carried out by family members or other known people. Sometimes they are deadly.

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Egypt girl’s death puts spotlight on genital mutilation

June 25th, 2013

Sheikh Yussef al-Badri: “[Circumcision] makes a girl control her common sense about sex”

The death of a 13-year-old girl during a genital mutilation procedure has
brought the issue back into the spotlight in Egypt. While some Egyptians are
fighting for the practice to be eradicated, others justify it in the name of

Follow the link to watch Egypt’s top Sheikh Yussef al-Badri defend female genital circumcision as “Allah’s orders”.

Sheik al-Badri feels so strongly about FGM that he goes on to yell at the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool to defend the practice.




There's a new side of the story that you haven't heard.