The Army Chief said the Indonesian Army would stop subjecting female recruits to mandatory vaginal exams in an interview with local reporters. Rights groups have protested and viewed the procedure as invasive and discredited the so-called virginity test that is slowly being stamped out worldwide.
His confirmation came less than a month after he hinted at the change in a different statement that set off celebrations among activists campaigning against the practice for years. They said they hoped the move would lead other parts of the Indonesian military to change the procedure as well.
“‘Virginity testing’ reinforces stereotyped notions of female sexuality and gender inequality,” the World Health Organization and two other arms of the United Nations said in a joint statement in 2018. “The examination can be painful, humiliating and traumatic. Given that these procedures are unnecessary and potentially harmful, it is unethical for doctors or other health providers to undertake them.”