Virginity Testing in South Asia Condemned by Human Rights Watch
In 2014, The World Health Organization condemned virginity tests, claiming it had “no scientific validity.” These examinations prevent women and girls from engaging in civil society like their male counterparts and prevents them from having full autonomy over their bodies. International human rights treaties, like the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), prohibit discrimination and violent acts against women. Despite human rights treaties and organizations denouncing this act, virginity testing or the “’two-finger test,” is still an ongoing practice in South Asian countries. To discuss this controversial practice and why it is still a social norm we talk with Heather Barr, a senior researcher on women’s rights at Human Rights Watch.