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‘VIRGINITY TEST’ Outlawed by Pakistan Court

Pakistan Court
TheWazir, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Pakistani Court as Outlawed ‘Virginity Tests’ by ending the practice of checking for an intact hymen during examining women for ‘rape and force’. The usual procedure involved checking the women for the presence of proper hymen and an invasive ‘two finger test’. Both the practices will no longer be happening while examining women.

The outlaw will apply only in the Punjab provision of the country but several other Courts are slowly picking up on the thought and many petitions have been filed by the social activist against the humiliating activity. The Sindh Court also received a similar argument to remove the practice which doesn’t have a forensic value or medical value.

Lahore High Court Judge, Ayesha Malik, came forward and said that it's quite ‘humiliating’ and ‘degrading’ to consider virginity tests when rape is under consideration. The whole process has no forensic value, no scientific proof and there are several physical factors that can influence the breaking of hymen in a woman. 

The social activists and campaigners feel that relevant authorities should look into the case and make necessary changes to involve right practices for testing. The two tests - virginity test and two finger test often lead to improper information and that results in lack of justice in cases.

The test determines if the lady under question is sexually active or not and the same is reflected upon her claim of rape. This is a direct violation of human rights and shouldn’t be the criteria to decide if the lady has been molested. Even WHO has recognised the activity to be futile because it has no forensic backup and also violates the right’s for women. This is a forced intrusion into privacy. 

Ms. Bandilal, one of the lawyers who filed a case against the practice stated that this is a very demeaning practice which makes the assumption that ‘a woman who has indulged in sexual activity before gives easy consent to sexual approaches again’. Similar views are shared by activists. 

Many more petitions are more likely to come up after Punjab Court’s decision.