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Indonesian Laws Force Women To Take 'Virginity Tests' Before Joining The Military

When President Barack Obama met Indonesian President Joko Widodo on monday in Washington DC, the agenda included discussions about trade, defence and climate cooperation. On the other hand, activists wanted to lead the agenda with the discussions about virginity tests and religious discrimination occuring in Indonesia.

Virginity tests are mandatory for the Indonesian women aspiring to join the military and police force. The activists pleaded Obama to urge the Indonesian government to stop this heinous act against women.

 

Indonesian Laws Force  Women To Take 'Virginity Tests' Before Joining The Military

Indonesian Laws Force Women To Take 'Virginity Tests' Before Joining The Military

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  in Weird

1) Indonesian female soldiers parade in Jakarta, Indonesia on 3rd Oct 2005.

1) Indonesian female soldiers parade in Jakarta, Indonesia on 3rd Oct 2005.

Women in Indonesia are required to undertake a 'virginity test' if they wish to join the military force or marry a soldier.

2) The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo salutes during a flag raising ceremony for Independence day in Jakarta, Indonesia on 17th August.

2) The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo salutes during a flag raising ceremony for Independence day in Jakarta, Indonesia on 17th August.

Activists wanted Obama to urge Joko to withheld such examinations. John Sifton, the Asian director of Human Rights Watch said in a statement, "President Jokowi isn't responsible for the flurry of regulations harming women's rights, but he is now best positioned to do something about it."

3) Human Rights Watch research found that all branches of the military – air force, army, and navy – have used the test for decades and also extended the requirement to the fiancees of military officers.

3) Human Rights Watch research found that all branches of the military – air force, army, and navy – have used the test for decades and also extended the requirement to the fiancees of military officers.

Applicants and fiancées who were deemed to have "failed" were not necessarily penalized, but all of the women describe the test as painful, embarrassing, and traumatic.

4) The sign reads, "My vagina is mine, I refuse the virginity test." Indonesian Military Chief opposes 'virginity test.'

4) The sign reads, "My vagina is mine, I refuse the virginity test.” Indonesian Military Chief opposes 'virginity test.’

Human Rights Watch found that the testing included the invasive "two-finger test" to determine whether female applicants' hymens are intact. Finger test findings are scientifically baseless because an "old tear" of the hymen or variation of the "size" of the hymenal orifice can be due to reasons unrelated to sex.

5) Muslim Indonesian government subjects female applicants for Indonesia's National Police to discriminatory and degrading virginity tests.

5) Muslim Indonesian government subjects female applicants for Indonesia's National Police to discriminatory and degrading virginity tests.

All of the women interviewed told Human Rights Watch that it was mandatory for all other women applying to enter the military or planning to marry military officers. They said that the only women excluded were those with "powerful connections" or who bribed the military doctors who administered the tests.

6) Indonesian women recruit's virginity is a matter of national security, a spokesman claims.

6) Indonesian women recruit's virginity is a matter of national security, a spokesman claims.

Female military recruits said that military officers informed them that the tests were crucial to preserving "the dignity and the honor of the nation." A retired air force officer wondered how she could "defend the honor of our nation if we cannot defend our own honor" by undergoing "virginity tests." Two military wives said that they were told that "virginity tests" helped stabilize "military families," in which the husbands often travel for months.

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