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16 girls who got scholarships for being virgins will undergo occasional virginity checks

By Mason White 12:49 PM January 25, 2016
College student (illustration) 

By: Tanya Malhotra
Women’s rights groups have expressed their outrage after learning that a city has awarded scholarships to 16 girls who promised to remain virgins until they graduate.

The UThukela District Municipality in South Africa, gave the Maidens Bursary Award on Monday, sparking outrage across the world.

The scholarship was criticized by the People Opposing Women Abuse organization (POWA). POWA advocates ending the culture of virginity tests as it violates the constitutional right to privacy.

POWA also believes that it is a discriminatory practice against girls as boys are never tested for virginity despite being equally responsible for the loss of virginity in girls.

This practice stigmatizes girls who could have lost her virginity through rape or incest. The new virgin category of scholarships were the idea of Mayor Dudu Mazibuko.

The girls agreed to be tested occasionally to ensure that they remain virgins.

Mazibuko said that the scholarships were intended to prevent young women from getting involved with older men.

A municipality spokesperson said the scholarships were designed to encourage girls to remain pure and focus on their education.

The government has announced that it launched an investigation into the scholarships.