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Virginity Tests for Female Military Recruits and Fiancées of Military Officers in The Indonesian Arm


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Virginity Tests for Female Military Recruits and Fiancées of Military Officers in The Indonesian Armed Forces : a deviations against International Human Rights

I. Introduction

A virginity test is the practice and process of determining whether a female person is a virgin, i.e., whether she has never engaged in sexual intercourse. The test involves an inspection of a female’s hymen, on the assumption that her hymen can only be torn as a result of sexual intercourse

In virginity tests, the presence of a hymen is often used to determine if a woman is a virgin. The process of virginity testing varies by region. But the most usual ways its by the two-finger test. Its Another form of virginity tests involves testing for laxity of vaginal muscles with fingers . A doctor performs the test by inserting a finger into the female’s vagina to check the level of vaginal laxity, which is used to determine if she is “habituated to sexual intercourse”. but, the usefulness of these criteria has been questioned by medical authorities and opponents of virginity testing because vaginal laxity and the absence of a hymen can both be caused by other factors, and the “two-finger test” is based on subjective observation.

With all the controversy and critism about the test and ethics,Indonesia decided to still begin the test to all the Female military recruits and fiancees of military officers in the Indonesia Armed Forces, it says that the virginity is a matter of national security. Because Soldiers are a nation’s defenders. They defend a nation’s sovereignty, a country’s territory and security, the soldiers should having a good habit and by that means, still virgin. According to The commander of Indonesia’s armed forces, General Moeldoko says that the test its about the morality which means that the only thing to determine person morality its by their sexual activities or their genital. He added later that there is no other way to determine the morality of the female. Taking from a military doctor at a military hospital in Jakarta,that the test is part of the mandatory military exam. It is given early in the recruitment process as part of the applicants’ physical exam. The doctor, who requested anonymity due to concerns about reprisals, said the tests occur in military hospitals across the country with female military applicants tested en masse in large halls divided into curtain-separated examination rooms. Female military physicians typically conduct the test, although one woman according to Human Rights Watch admitted that a man administered the procedure on her. Many of the women who’s submit the test feel humuliated and shocked for a long time. One of them admit that because of the traume,her body was stiff and hurt when she’s trying having sexual intercourse for the first time with her husband. The trauma last until about four years after her wedding.

The protest against the test spreading hard,especially from Human right watch, the New York City–based advocacy group called for Indonesia’s military to stop imposing virginity tests on female recruits and fiancées of military officers, The issues comes in the World Congress on Military Medicine and suddenly put Indonesia under the microscope. With the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims called on participants to reject the tests and the activist that urge the president for doing the right thing. the main argument why the test must be stop is that there’s no correlation between virginity and someone’s morality. After that, all of the statements that came from females who used to take the test admitted that they suffered trauma can make this virginity test is a humuliated process to a women, actually. The problem of the issues is there’s a different treatment,when virginity uses to determine women morality, isn’t it should be the same standard is uses for a man,with taking the virginity test to judge yout morality and determination. But its hard to doing it since virginity in Indonesia is a sacred thing. A Patriarchal culture product who’s tend to sexist,positioning female as a toy and disgrace them in society. The protest agains the test appears because of the discrimination act in the virginity test, that someone’s dignity automatically will be judged negatively when indicates not virgins anymore. Something that must be deviated from Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Constitution of The Republic of Indonesia 1945.

II. Main Issue

The virginity test issues in Indonesia is not something new. Because In some Asia Countries, one of the reason why females should takes virginity tests its because the society believes that purity and kindness of a women its on their virginity. Many believes that someone who’s not virgin anymore is a “trash”, “dirty”, “Naughty” women and should be isolated by society.

Early this year, according to Reuters, A proposal to subject female high school graduates to the test sparked an outcry, with advocacy groups calling the test a human rights violation, and the country’s top Muslim clerics saying it discriminated against female students and conflicted with Islamic teaching. That proposal was ultimately withdrawn, but it appears that police recruits are still tested, as well as candidates for the military. still, morality and good behavior taken as a reason to perform the test. The virginity test,not only humiliation, but also degradation, and invasion of privacy that violate the following international Human Rights instruments,which is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW prohibits discrimination against women, which is defined in Article 1 as “any distinction, exclusion, or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.” Because men are not subjected to virginity testing, the existence of the practice constitutes discrimination. Further, because virginity testing has been used in the context of job apps and marry, women are discriminated against in their pursuit of career and civil goals.

CEDAW calls on states parties to pursue by all appropriate means a policy of eliminating discrimination against women by taking affirmative actions. CEDAW enumerates a host of possible affirmative actions: refraining from engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and ensuring that public authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation; taking all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person, organization, or enterprise; and taking all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs, and practices that constitute discrimination against women. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women specifically “noted with the gravest concern the practice of forced gynaecological examinations of women in the Millitary recruits and fiancee of military officer . The Committee emphasized that such coercive practices were degrading, discriminatory and unsafe and constituted a violation by state authorities of the bodily integrity, person and dignity of women.” The Committee also expressed concern about the categorization of violence against women as a “crime against public decency and public order,” and stated that such categorization contradicted the spirit of CEDAW. Further, the Committee noted its deep concern that greater penalties were imposed for the rape of a woman who was a virgin. Although fromt the briefing with the UN in 2012,indonesia,by the Amnesty International told to Ensure that all degrading and discriminatory procedures such as virginity testing are Prohibited, but until today 3 years later, there’s still no progress that the instructions will be hear.

III. Conclusion

Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel prize winner,once said that the failure of women to have reached postions of leadership has been due in large part to social and Proffesional discriminations. It explains a lot, that women who might have talents and skill are forced to stay on the ground because of the discriminations that hit them. Virginity test is one of the example. The test as a procedure of a military recruits can make the potential women fail to reach the positions in miltary. While the process must taken by women who’s will marry to the military officer is a failure of love and their rights to have a make the test is banned in the future,it more needs to be done to eradicate the practice. The government must initiate a nationwide campaign to inform women that the practice should be prohibited and they have the right to refuse to comply with virginity testing. Further, doctors must be notified regarding the new law. To fully comply with international human rights standards, Indonesia should adhere to the following measures, as recommended by HRW: stop discriminating against women by holding them to subjective standards of modesty to which men are not held and to prohibited the virginity test itself. publicly denounce the forced imposition of virginity test under any circumstances as a grave and intolerable human rights abuse and a violation of domestic and international law; direct state-employed doctors not to perform virginity exams on girls and women; the government should warn the military to erase the test from the military recruits procedure and erase it for the fiancee of military officer too.

Indonesia’s actions in the future will indicate whether officially banning virginity testing constitutes a real commitment to eradicating this egregious practice or an empty promise designed to calm the media and activist. To meet its obligations under international law and truly improve its standing in the international community, Indonesia must demonstrate respect for women’s human rights not just on paper, but in practice.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Amnesty International. (2012, July). INDONESIA: briefing to the UN Commitee on the ellimination of discriminations against women. Amnesty International for the Session of Indonesia . BBC. (2015, May 15). Why does Indonesia demand that female military recruits are virgins? Retrieved September 4, 2015, from California, U. o. (2009). The Hymen. Santa Barbara’s SexINfo . Human Rights Watch. (2015, May 20). indonesia military imposing virginity tests. Retrieved September 4, 2015, from India Today. (2013, 02 01). Insult after Assault:The two-finger test is not only unscientific but also degrading for the victim. The demand to ban it mounts : NATION. Jr, D. G. (2010, September 15). Rape: rights group calls test to determine sexual activity a ‘second assault’ in india. New York Times . United Nations of Human RIghts. (2009). Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Retrieved september 4, 2015, from
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