It’s tough to get a job these days. It’s even tougher when you’re female and want to join the police force in Indonesia.
In addition to requirements such as having to be a certain height and subscribing to one of the country’s six officially recognized religions, women are subjected to what is called the “two finger test” as part of their overall health screening.
When Sri Rumiati, a former police psychologist, voiced concerns over the practice, she was told by her colleagues, “We want to make sure we don’t have pr#stitutes on the force, don’t we?”
The “virginity test” subjects young women to this utmost humiliating experience, or risk not having gainful employment.
“They told us we could resign from the selection process if we did not want to go through with it, but most of us had gone through so much preparation already, and I felt I had no power to object,” said one woman.
“The Indonesian National Police’s use of these tests is a discriminatory practice that harms and humiliates women,” said Nisha Varia, associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it.”
This is not the only country where this type of testing still occurs. In some places, especially in many Muslim parts of the world, women who fail the tests are repeatedly beaten and forced to disclose whom they choose to be intimate with.
But, while this may be the latest news trending today, due to the HRW’s recent inquiry, don’t let this be too surprising for a country that has already had the head of one of its province’s education offices, say that “it’s for the girls own good,” when asked about having high school girls take the tests.
Boys, on the other hand, are exempt from even being questioned about the subject.