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Stop virginity testing for bursaries

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Women are being forced into compulsory virginity testing to get an education in uThukela District Municipality. Demand the Mayor abolish her plans.

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18,500 signatures

Student groups across the country have been calling out for free, quality education for all. Yet right now, women are being forced to give up control of their bodies to access higher education. uThukela District Municipality has introduced a ‘Maidens Bursary Award’, which requires that recipients undergo virginity testing not only to receive it, but also every holiday to ensure they are not sexually active [1].

Virginity testing is an invasive, flawed, traumatising and sexist practice, that has no bearing on whether or not women should be granted bursaries. Add your voice to support women’s rights. We can't let women’s access to education be determined by traumatic, invasive process that strips away women’s control over their bodies.

Together, we can ensure that public funds are not used to discriminate against women and uphold systems that keep women oppressed and unequal in the society in which we live.


Dear Mayor of UThukela District Municipality, Dudu Mazibuko,

We, the undersigned, call on you to abolish the ‘Maiden Bursary Award’, which requires that women undergo virginity testing to get it. Not only is the test flawed and invasive, it is a complete violation of women’s rights, another way of taking away women’s control of their bodies. If the award is meant to empower women, give it away to women in a manner that recognises and protects their dignity.

[1] Virgin bursaries. Amanda Khoza for Timeslive. 22 January 2016.

Showing 1117 reactions

  • signed 2016-09-22 15:03:27 +0200
  • signed 2016-08-22 15:49:29 +0200
    How do we than build a Nation when we have such campaigns. We have different girls that comes from different spheres of life. We always root education is a powerful tool, but what happens when a non-virgin girl who lost her virginity by being sexually abused is being pushed aside by society by clearly labeling her as not clean, isnt Education good enough for her? #wakeupmzansi
  • signed 2016-08-16 22:22:17 +0200
    This is horrible. Education shouldn’t be dependent on a person’s sexual activity, and the procedure itself is completely unethical and isn’t even reliable for what it’s supposed to test.
  • signed 2016-08-12 09:41:17 +0200
  • signed 2016-08-10 19:19:45 +0200
  • signed 2016-08-04 08:08:40 +0200
  • signed 2016-07-18 17:00:13 +0200
    Keeping a virginity is commendable among young woman, thus to encourage safe control and good moral standard, but it should be by choice and not to be imposed on any one this a modern society.If any one wishes to offer scholarship it should be on merit by handwork.
  • signed 2016-07-18 11:17:44 +0200
    we are living in a democracy world now. this must come to and end now
  • signed 2016-07-13 10:28:53 +0200
  • signed 2016-06-27 20:03:07 +0200
  • signed 2016-06-24 00:51:51 +0200
  • signed 2016-06-10 17:26:36 +0200
    it is unfair and also isolates the right of privacy for women so it must be give to all qualify student
  • signed 2016-06-09 07:09:39 +0200
    Education is for all.
  • signed 2016-06-08 21:58:27 +0200
  • signed 2016-06-08 15:32:05 +0200
  • signed 2016-06-03 11:20:33 +0200
    it is a good idea to test virginity
  • signed 2016-05-31 16:49:23 +0200
  • signed 2016-05-27 16:20:54 +0200
    undemocratic and unconstitutional
  • signed 2016-05-27 15:19:02 +0200
    violation on vulnerable gender
  • signed 2016-05-25 12:07:21 +0200
  • signed 2016-05-23 16:01:41 +0200
    Very good, I love virginity testing
  • signed 2016-05-23 10:15:03 +0200
    the President must not think that South Africa is a tribal state because the way they do things is all based on Zulu tribalism . Zuma African National Congress does not belong to the Zulus it belong to the South Africans. We fought very hard for this Freedom you destroying .
  • signed 2016-05-19 16:43:00 +0200
    Education is a must to building our society, we need all those who learned for their mistakes and those who adhered to advice ,because between the adventures and the Quiet ones excellence is born.

    lets give the power we dont have to those still with a chance to make a difference

    A luta Continua
  • signed 2016-05-17 15:54:27 +0200
    abolish the “Maiden Bursary Award”
  • signed 2016-05-17 08:15:22 +0200
  • signed 2016-05-16 22:41:34 +0200
  • signed 2016-05-16 05:04:10 +0200
    we must get out of this long ago practice,that takes away woman dignity and self respect
  • signed via 2016-05-15 11:03:38 +0200
  • signed 2016-05-15 10:06:35 +0200
  • signed 2016-05-14 08:21:42 +0200
    This practice is 1. A form of emotional blackmail 2. It infringes on a girls right to get an education 3. It is contradictory to the constitution in that it goes against equal rights 4. It also marginalises those who are no longer virgins and opens them up to ridicule by their peers and communities