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Tue Oct 9, 2018, 11:49 AM

Afghan women still jailed alongside murderers for 'failing' virginity test [View all]

Despite a public health policy outlawing the test, women continue to be subjected to this degrading ordeal, which can lead to arrest and imprisonment.

Seven months ago, 18-year-old Bahara was imprisoned for failing a test that she should never have had to undergo. Bahara had run away from home to meet a man she had been in a relationship with. They had never met, but were in contact through calls and messages. That night, when they met for the first time, he raped her. But when she reported the rape to the police, instead of support, she was taken to hospital to undergo a virginity test – a practice that was banned in Afghanistan in 2016.

“I thought the doctors would at least take me to a private place for the test. But it was done in a room full of people – doctors, nurses, and even prying visitors and other patients who wanted a closer look at my naked body. At that moment, I would have preferred to die,” she says.

Bahara is now an inmate at Mazar-i-Sharif high security prison in Balkh province. Many women have been imprisoned here for what are considered “moral crimes”, which include running away from home and having sex before marriage. Most will have had to undergo virginity tests and many women will spend months in jail because they failed them.


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Reply Afghan women still jailed alongside murderers for 'failing' virginity test [View all]
left-of-center2012 Oct 2018 OP
CrispyQ Oct 2018 #1
get the red out Oct 2018 #3
Me. Oct 2018 #2