Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Virginity Tests in Egypt

I read a short summary of this article first on the Daily Beast today and was so incredulous that I then clicked on the link to read the entire story at Global Post. This young woman, Samira Ibrahim, was violated by Egyptian military personnel as part of a "virginity check." She has filed a lawsuit against the military for the practice. The entire concept of a virginity test is a complete violation of a woman's human rights and has been condemned by Amnesty International as a form of torture. This woman is so brave for standing up to Egyptian authorities, and even more incredible, I think, is the fact that both of her parents support her case. If her case is not given a fair trial by the often corrupt courts of Egypt, Ms. Ibrahim has said that she will take it to the United Nations. I find it so admirable that she is fighting back for what she knows is right and that she is not afraid, despite the male-dominated culture and corrupt legal system.

3 comments:

Anne said...

This is really frightening to read- as an American, it's hard to even fathom that this sort of practice exists. However, even resettled Egyptian women in the United States and United Kingdom must be worried about the high value their culture places on virginity. I was watching a documentary that followed one Muslim woman who sought surgery to reconstruct her hymen before her arranged marriage. She feared that if her family found out she was not a virgin, she would be beaten and rejected by her family and husband- she said it would be worse than death.

hotpinknails said...

This is difficult to hear. However, I am encouraged by Amnesty International's labeling the act as torture. The fact that we are able to recognize this intrusion as a violation of human rights is a testament to how far we have come in terms of promoting individual's rights. It is sad to hear that these types of acts continue to be performed, but seeing so many people supporting this young woman gives me hope.

HumanRightsAdvocate23 said...

This is extrmley sad and frieghting to hear about. I once read an article that showed an increasing numbers of women ‘virginity repair’ operations before marriage.

The article talked about how "It is more cultural rather than religious. If the bride is not a virgin and does not bleed on the wedding night, it is a big shame on the family. There have been honour killings in extreme cases."

How could this NOT be a human rights violations?
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1298684/Surge-virginity-repair-operations-NHS.html#ixzz1gCqv8AiT