Hundreds of topless virgins rally in support of mayor who announced virginity scholarshipsBy Mason White 3:07 PM February 11, 2016
|College student (illustration)|
By: Tanya Malhotra
Hundreds of topless virgins in South Africa, came out to rally in support of a mayor who was condemned for announcing scholarships that are contingent on staying a virgin throughout college.
The rally was held on Friday in Ladysmith.
Many groups have criticized the mayor, including the Departments of Education.
The Gender for Equality Commission said that the scholarships encourage inequalities and must be canceled immediately.
50-year-old Dudu Zwane, who performs virginity tests, said that the virgins and their parents are asking groups to leave the mayor alone.
The UThukela District Municipality gave the Maidens Bursary Award, sparking outrage across the world.
The scholarships were 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.