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Effective Education and Awareness are Panecea for Combating Virginity Testing in South Africa


Even though there have been diverse opinions regarding the harmful cultural and traditional practices of virginity testing (VT) being meted out to girls and women in the jurisdictions where they are being perpetrated and practiced in South Africa, the fact still remains that under international and domestic laws of most civilized countries, cultural practices of all forms must meet the stringent tests of protection of fundamental rights and the human dignity. While this is the standard and test, it is disheartening those harmful cultural and traditional practices such as VT is still prevalent in South Africa. While there have been various interventions introduced to curb and combat these practices, VT continues to be practiced with impunity. This is because those who engage in the practice continue to perpetrate the act believing they are protecting girls from engaging in sexual intercourse in order not be infected with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases or fall pregnant before marriage. This article argues that while the legal ban of VT is non-negotiable, it suggests the use of other approaches such as effective education and awareness creation to compliment the legal ban in order to achieve the desired outcome of total eradication of VT.

Rakubu Motlalepula, Odeku Kola O

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