If you think that unmarried girls and brides being subjected to a virginity test is a medieval practice, think again. It may be 2019, women maybe commandeering a MIG, tourists maybe booking seats on space crafts to the moon, but the V-test is still a thing.
Centuries have gone by and sadly, the only thing that has changed is the way the test is conducted – quietly under wraps. This character certificate is only required of the bride i.e the woman, with the man excused from upholding the same so-called ‘morals’. Fearing social ostracisation by their communities, or in places like Indonesia fear of falling short of fulfilling criteria for certain jobs, women go in for these degrading and humiliating tests.
ALSO READ: This state bans the archaic virginity test
The Maharashtra government has finally banned practice deeming it a sexual assault. However, India is not the only country where this V-test finds takers. The custom is followed in Africa, Indonesia and reportedly even Sweden due to deepset religious beliefs and the reluctance to give up archaic traditions.
The crux of the matter is the societal attitude towards sexuality and gender. That only the woman has to provide the character certificate speaks louder than words. In a day and age when women’s empowerment is a catchword, technology is eliminating barriers between the lawmakers and citizens, social media makes it easier to express dissent and to gather consensus gender equality is still a long journey.
The baton is in the hands of the youth, who can drive this change, just like Maharashtra’s Kanjarbhat community where the growing resistance within the community led a group of young people to launch a campaign to have the custom banned.
The wise and the not-so-young should take a deep, look at the age and time they are living in and realise that it is a regressive and misogynistic practice under the garb of moral values and traditions.
It needs to go.
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