General News Sat, 20 Oct 2018
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ban on virginity test is a welcome relief: it is long overdue but better late than never.The practice has gone on for far too long creating obvious embarrassment to the victims of the crazy procedure. It is surprising that in spite of its unscientific outcome, it has endured over the years with little or no public show of disapproval for it.
Now that the WHO has come out with its diktat as it were, health authorities must wade into the nonsense and ensure that it is expunged from the manual of medical and law enforcement procedures in the country. Our girls deserve better from officialdom and society.
Girls have suffered an assortment of challenges which have been inhibitory to their growth and positive development over the years; the nonsense under review being one of them.
Even as lofty policies have been rolled out by successive governments to provide the necessary fillip for girls to rub shoulders with their male counterparts in education and other areas of human endeavours, such backward practices have continued to pull them back.
The virginity test stands apart from other unacceptable practices though because it has been applied by officialdom in cases of rape or even defilement.
With the incidence of the above-mentioned depravity on the increase in the country, it can be imagined the number of girls who have had to endure the insertion of two probing fingers into their womanhood.
Now that this practice has been barred by WHO, the law enforcement system and the health authorities must seek alternative means of establishing cases of rape or even defilement.
We were touched by the point made by WHO that victims of rape or defilement, suffer double agony of rape or defilement and finger insertion even as they seek justice for the acts of criminality meted out to them.
Imagine the traumatic effect of a teenage girl being asked to open her legs for a nurse to insert her two fingers into her womanhood to establish whether or not her hymen has been broken through a sexual insertion.
We do not have to be medical practitioners to know that hymens can be broken through other activities such as exercises and so concluding that it is only through sex that this can be, is now no longer acceptable.
We are worried though that even after the WHO directive, the practice could continue before the information about its ban filters down to the lowest rung of medical delivery and law enforcement.
We should also like to add that the female genital mutilation – the antiquated procedure of crudely removing the clitoris of girls, is not completely wiped out.
Some families or cultural settings still allow for the carrying out of the procedure and we regret that it is happening in this day and age even in Ghana.