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A city on Indonesia's Sumatra Island will require female students to pass a virginity test for entering senior high school in an effort to reduce the rate of "negative acts," news reports said Tuesday.
Muhammad Rasyid, chief of the Education Agency in the city of Prabumulih in South Sumatra Province, reportedly said the virginity test, which will be a response to the high rate of "adultery" and "prostitution" among female students, is slated to start next year.
Rasyid has even submitted a proposal to the city council to obtain the necessary funds for the test from the city's 2014 budget.
"Whether a woman wants to stay a virgin or not, that's part of her rights as a woman. But on the other side, we don't want the female students to plunge into negative acts," Rasyid was quoted by Kompas newspaper and Kontan economic daily as saying.
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The reports immediately drew critical responses from women, particularly women activists.
On their Twitter accounts, the women, among others, said, "It's defamation against women" and "Male students must also pass a virginity test."
Virginity is a sensitive issue in the world's most-populous Muslim country. Women are expected to remain virgins until marriage. In many cases, particularly in rural areas, women are rejected or returned to their families by their husbands if found to have not bled on their marriage night.
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