STOCKHOLM (Web Desk) – A covert investigation revealed a detestable practice in Sweden. The undercover report showed how doctors were carrying out ‘virginity tests’ on teenage girls against their will.
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The footage was shot by reporters for the Swedish current affairs program Kalla Kafta (Cold Fact). They hid cameras and approached doctors across Sweden and asked if they were willing to perform the tests, India Today reported.
The undercover journalists were disguised as an aunt and her 17-year-old niece. In the footage the aunt is seen asking the doctor to test her niece, despite the teen’s resistance. The aunt then asks the doctor to issue a ‘virginity certificate’, reports the Independent.
The Swedish law states that doctors are bound to report a child to social services if they think that they are ‘in need of protection’ reports the Independent. During the expose the doctor confessed that she performed ‘hundreds’ of virginity tests, including children.
Human rights activists and politicians in the country were shocked and appalled to hear of this practice. Swedish Politicians have promised to take the matter up at the European Parliament.
Liesl Gerntholtz, of the Human Rights Watch told a British daily: “In a country that internationally has played a leading role in protecting women’s rights, it was almost unthinkable to me that this would be happening in a country like Sweden.”
One of the victims, who was too scared to reveal her identity, spoke to the programme using an actress’ voice. “Sara” said she was forced to get engaged to her cousin when she was just 13 by her deeply Christian family and her parents made her undergo a virginity test at 15.
These tests are still rampantly practiced in many countries. The virginity test practice comes from the myth that the hymen, which is the membrane in female reproductive tract is broken when she has sex for the first time, however this can also happen due to rigorous physical exercise or injury.