The Archipelago

Councilors mull virginity
as criteria for enrollment

A Jambi provincial legislator has floated a potentially controversial idea requiring female students enrolling into state schools to undergo virginity tests, with failure meaning exclusion from studies.

“The idea is simple. Parents are obviously afraid of their daughters being deflowered before the time comes, so before they continue their studies, they can undergo the virginity test and automatically protect their dignity,” said Jambi legislative councilor Bambang Bayu Suseno.

Bambang apparently seemed serious on the matter. He said he was prepared to invite various parties to discuss the issue. He said the idea would be put forward in a local provincial draft law by the legislature’s Commission IV.“We could hold a discussion if need be. Everyone can express their views. The issue can draw controversies, but signify good goals, for the sake of our children’s morality,” he said.

His idea, he said, stemmed from his belief that married students can be prohibited from attending public schools.

“Why are girls who lose their virginity allowed to go to public school,” he said, adding that he was further studying its legal basis.

Jambi legislative council’s Commission IV head Aswan Zahari indirectly expressed his support, but refused to talk further about it.

“It needs to be discussed,” said Aswan briefly.

According to Bambang, interaction among youth in Jambi is a cause for concern, because parents are facing further difficulties due to the proximity between the sexes which could lead to sexual exploitation. This condition has made all parents with daughters more worried.

“As in my case, all my children are girls,” Bambang said.

He deemed that parental and school supervision on youth interaction was weak, so there was no other choice but to hand over supervision completely to the child. Hence, the idea of drafting the virginity test draft bylaw.

The implementation of the virginity test will bring awareness to every girl to automatically protect her virginity, Bambang said.

“She could not be easily influenced, coaxed and surrender herself to her boyfriend or other parties seeking advantage from teenage girls.”

“Because, if she is later tested, and it turns out that she is no longer a virgin, she knows the consequences that she could not continue her studies,” he said.

Jambi chapter Indonesian Ulema Council head Sulaiman Abdullah warmly welcomed the idea. He said the morality of youths must be protected.

The virginity test during school enrollment could be implemented and the bylaw drafted, so long as it didn’t breach existing laws, he said.

However, Jambi provincial secretary spokesman Sudirman expressed his opposition to the idea, saying it would likely breach basic human rights and violate the education law.“Every citizen has the right to education as this is mandated in law. So, everyone, virgin or not, has the right to go to school,” said Sudirman.

Despite that, Sudirman understands discussion on the draft bylaw may continue as it is the prerogative of the councilors to discuss it.

“However, it should be further studied, despite the good intentions,” he said.

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