Jakarta bans virginity tests for cadets

Jakarta bans virginity tests for cadets

JAKARTA — Indonesia will abolish virginity tests at the state-run college for would-be civil servants following criticism of a similar practice in the police force, media reports said Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch urged Indonesia's national police to halt "discriminatory" virginity tests for women applying to join the force in the world's most-populous Muslim-majority country.

Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said Monday he was seeking an end to virginity tests as part of requirements to join the Institute of Public Administration, a college for aspiring civil servants and regional administrators, the Kompas Daily reported.

"A woman is not a virgin can be due to several reasons, such as a fall," Tjahjo was quoted as saying. "This should not be a measure."

"It is a pity that just because of that a woman fails to qualify, even though she is competent," he said.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report last month that the police force required female applicants to undergo "degrading" virginity tests despite a promise to end the practice years ago.

Human Rights Watch said virginity tests are "a discriminatory practice that harms and humiliates women."

The national police have denied they require applicants to undergo virginity tests, saying they administer reproductive organ examinations as part of health checks to detect diseases such as cervical cancer.

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