Target: General Surgeon of the Indonesian National Armed Forces Daniel Tjen
Goal: Abolish invasive “virginity tests” for female recruits and fiancees of Indonesia’s armed forces.
Indonesian women who seek to join the nation’s armed forces, along with women who desire to marry a military officer, are subjected to a discriminatory and violating virginity test known as the “two -finger’ testing. This practice has been ongoing for several decades, and it continues to be supported by many government and military officials. These women are required to strip naked in front of a doctor where there genitalia will then be manually examined.
According to TIME magazine, the logic behind the tests is that the Indonesian military wants only the best physically and mentally capable citizens to join the armed forces. Furthermore, the military considers the test to be one of morality but the virginity of a woman does not equate to morality.
A test that targets only women is blatantly sexist and discriminatory. It is gender-based violence and it is a blatant violation of human rights and it is a practice that must be halted immediately. Demand that General Surgeon Daniel Tjen outlaw this degrading practice.
Dear Daniel Tjen,
I am writing to you because I am asking you to no longer subject Indonesian women to the armed forces’ “virginity tests.” Being a virgin does not make a woman more qualified to defend Indonesia than a woman who is not a virgin. A woman’s worth is not dependent on her virginity. Virginity is also not a sign of whether a woman will be an effective member of the armed forces or if she will be a good wife.
According to the Humans Rights Watch, women subjected to this test deem at as “painful, embarrassing, and traumatic.” The virginity tests are violation of women’s rights, and may be considered torture in accordance to international law as it can be argued that it is a form of rape. A woman should not be subjected to violence against her body for the sake of upholding the idea that virgins will then uphold the dignity of the nation.
Moreover, the World Health Organization has declared that there is no scientific validity in these tests. A group of 35 forensic specialists argued that hymen examinations don’t indicate anything about a woman’s sexual history. But above all, there is no reason to inspect a woman’s genitalia in the first place.
All women deserve to be treated with the same respect, honor, and dignity that men in the Indonesian armed forces are given. I demand that you abolish a practice that is not only humiliating and violating, but one that fails in accuracy and validity.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jezebel