Campaigners Welcome Pakistan Court Banning “Virginity Tests”

Campaigners Welcome Pakistan Court Banning
Activists hope the ruling by Lahore High Court will set a precedent for other regions to ban the "humiliating" practice - Image Source: Wikimedia

WOMEN’S RIGHTS campaigners have celebrated a Pakistan court ruling that bans “virginity tests” being used in rape investigations.

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A recent ruling by Lahore High Court, which covers Pakistan’s Punjab province, will end the use of “virginity tests” in rape investigations after heavy campaigning from women’s rights groups.

The “two-finger test” is performed by inserting one or two fingers into a woman’s vagina to test for the presence of a hymen, which some claim can determine whether or not the woman is sexually active and to what extent. Up until now, the test could be used to discredit victims of rape in court who are judged to be sexually experienced.

Ayeesha Malik, the judge of the historic ruling, said told the court that the “humiliating” practice has “no forensic value” and will be outlawed in Punjab province. Campaigners hope that the case will set a precedent for other regions of Pakistan to follow suit in banning the tests.

Sameer Khosa, a lawyer who advocated the abolishment at the court, told the BBC that the ruling “established very clearly that the virginity test has no forensic value in any case involving sexual violence”. She expressed her hope that Pakistani authorities will “reset their procedures in the light of this ruling and say goodbye to the virginity tests forever“.

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