Indonesian Police Under Fire For Conducting ‘Virginity Tests’ On Female Recruits
Aspiring female police officers in Indonesia were subjected to “virginity tests,” what is sometimes referred to as the “two-finger test,” as part of the police’s “morality or physical examination,” according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The tests are not recorded or listed as a requirement for becoming part of the police, they are still administered throughout the country, according to reports.
The test, as its name suggests, involves inserting two fingers into a woman’s vagina to see if her hymen is still intact — in an effort to determine whether one is a virgin or not — a method that has long been proven unreliable and incredibly invasive.
According to Andreas Harsono of Humans Rights Watch, the practice is justified by Indonesian police because they feel Indonesian society would not accept a female officer who potentially has an active sex life.
“The logic is that they only want good girls to be police officers,” he said.
An Indonesia woman by the name of Zakia — her last name purposefully kept private to protect her — told Human Rights Watch that she had failed her test with the police department when she applied last year.
She described the experience in horrible detail.
“They didn’t just insert their fingers into my vagina, but also into my anus. They kept probing … it was extremely painful,” she said.
“Every time I remember what happened, I cry … I feel like I don’t want to live anymore.”
To compound the horror, she claimed the test was not even conducted by a medical professional.
Zakia says she was a martial artist growing up, and that the exercises and training during her younger years might have contributed to her hymen being torn.
“Once, I fell and my vagina hit a block of wood, but I don’t know whether my hymen broke,” she said.
“My mother told me not to worry about it … but I told [the police officers interviewing me] that I remember feeling great pain in my vagina due to the fall — after that, the interview was over,” she said.
Zakia said that the officers pressed and intimated her to “come clean,” although she was insistent that she was, in fact, a virgin. She was not accepted for a second round of interviews after the incident.
While virginity testing is officially not allowed due to international pressure, a study last year conducted by Sharyn Graham Davies from the Auckland University of Technology found that the practice is still very much alive among police departments across Indonesia.
Some female officers in the country, however, feel that the tests are important and should continue.
The study cites Anisha, a 27-year-old policewoman, on the matter.
“The test shows that we as women can protect ourselves and therefore we are capable of protecting other people,” she claimed.
She also revealed that the practice was common in the Indonesian military as well.
“Many military generals believe that the hymen is like a clock, if the hymen is torn between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. it’s mostly because of physical activities … but if the hymen is torn at 6 p.m. it means the woman has a sexual life,” Harsono of Human Rights Watch explained.
There is no scientific studies to support those claims.