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Virginity Testing: Okei-Odumakin seeks more advocacy, describes practice as ‘barbaric’

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An NGO, Women Arise for Change Initiative (WA) has called on governments to ensure more awareness programmes to end virginity testing of young females in Nigeria.

Joe Odumakin

Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President of WA, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.

According to her, virginity testing of females is `barbaric’.

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“Virginity testing of females is barbaric and it falls under the rubric of violence against women and girl child.

“There has been global condemnation of the practice and substantial gains in the advocacy to end this ignoble practice.

“Government and stakeholders must do more in terms of advocacy, toward ensuring that the practice is totally eliminated,’’ Okei-Odumakin said.

The rights activist also said that any test carried out on any human being be it a female or a male, meant infringement on the person’s right.

She said the test lacked scientific backing as it could not tell whether a woman has had sex.

Okei-Odumakin appealed to parents to stop requesting that their female children be tested, saying that the archaic tradition must stop.

She said the practice had led many women and girls into developing psychological problems.

The rights activist called on health workers, the police and other stakeholders to join hands in fighting the barbaric tradition.

The UN Human Rights, UN Women and the World Health Organization (WHO) had in a joint statement said virginity testing, a gynecological examination conducted under the belief that it determines whether a woman or girl has had vaginal intercourse, must be brought to an end.

The statement, which was issued during the World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO 2018) in Rio de Janeiro, said that such tests were both unscientific and a violation of human rights. (NAN)

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