Thousands Of Afghan Girls Being Held In Jail For Failing Virginity Test | Politics
Thousands and thousands of girls, ranging from 21 years old to as young as 12, are being held in prisons and cells in Afghanistan on the charge of “moral crimes”.
The Marie Stopes International centre and organization, that champions women’s right in developing countries, reports, after a visit to a prison in the Balkh province of Afghanistan, that girls are held in detention from 3 months up to more than one year with the accusation of running away or having sex outside marriage.
The truth, of course, lies somewhere else. The majority of the girls are victims of domestic violence, forced marriage and, sometimes, even rape. But in conservative Afghanistan, where women are forced to undertake a virginity test in order to prove their chastity, these crimes are easily turned against them.
The practice of the virginity test, that was banned under President Ghani‘s presidency, still remains a common act put in place by police enforcements and law authorities.
An abomination and violation of basic human rights, this practice test has spurred a whirlwind of accusations towards the Afghan society and the way it treats its women. Regarded as mere tokens, women are forced into marriage by their family from an early age, most of the time without their consent. Arranged marriage further endangers the position of women, who are then forced to run away from situation that should not take place in the first place.
The Marie Stopes Organization, following up on the prison report, has urged Human Rights organizations to put a stop to this practice that sees thousands of girls forced to endure atrocious conditions in prison.
Farhad Javi, the country director for the organization, has stated that in one cell they squeezed more than 12 girls “and even though they are supposed to only be in there for three months, many are kept for a year or a year and a half. When they get out, their families have disowned them; they are in a very precarious position“.
If this is the case, President Ghani has the duty, as human being, to do more than just ban the virginity test practice, but make sure that women hold the same rights as men and that their rights are not violated over the absurd charge of “moral crimes”.
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