Thursday, September 30, 2010

A plan of virginity tests for girls students

An Indonesian legislator wants girls in his province to pass virginity tests before being admitted into state-funded high schools - a widely ridiculed proposal with little chance of passing.

Bambang Bayu Suseno, a lawmaker in Jambi's provincial parliament, cited concerns about a rise in premarital sex among teens in pushing for the proposal.

But critics argued Wednesday that mandatory testing would be discriminatory and a violation of human rights.

"The way to address this problem is through sex education," said Seto Mulyadi, who heads the National Commission for Child Protection, adding that not all girls engaging in sex do so willingly.

"Make it part of the school curriculum so students will learn how to protect themselves - but virginity tests?"

Indonesia is a secular nation with more Muslims than any other in the world - some 210 million. 

Most practice a moderate, tolerant form of the faith, but some conservatives are worried rapid modernization is eroding morals.

Suseno said easy access to pornography and a poor understanding of religion have produced youths who are promiscuous.

In order to pass, the proposal would need the support of the Jambi governor, who, along with the minister of women's affairs, was quick to condemn it.

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