Until now, the so-called “virginity test” or “two-finger test” was a prerequisite for women’s participation in the recruitment process. Health professionals insert two fingers into it to check whether the hymen is intact. If this was not the case, according to the staff, the hiring was refused.
In 2014, the World Health Organization condemned this discriminatory practice. “Virginity testing is out of the question and is not based on science,” she said.
Last year, then-army chief General Andika Perkasa requested that women be evaluated only on their physical exams and not on the controversial exam, but that proposal met with resistance from the air force and navy. In November, Indonesian President Joko Widodo was appointed commander-in-chief of the three defense branches, bolstering his call to ban testing.
Human Rights Watch is now calling on the Indonesian government to investigate and support the victims’ trauma. “Women who wish to join the country’s armed forces should not suffer discrimination and abuse,” the organization said.