Stop virginity testing for bursaries

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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.

Stop virginity testing for bursaries
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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.