The women of South Africa have had enough of education discrimination in the name of Virginity Test. They took to the streets to register their anger over KwaZulu-Natal province major’s scholarship to young women for remaining virgins. This, according to the mayor’s office, will encourage others to be “pure and focus on school.” The scholarship, introduced this year in Uthukela district, will be awarded to more than 100 promising high school and university students from the area. The scholarships applicants promise to remain virgins and that they must go through regular virginity tests to keep their scholarship.
Uthukela Major Dudu Mazibuko said the scholarship is a way of thanking young women for keeping themselves and can still keep themselves for the next three years until they get their degree or certificate. But grants will be renewed “as long as the child can produce a certificate that she is still a virgin.”
The mayor’s office claimed the scholarships are meant to protect young vulnerable women from exploitation, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
But activists would not take any of the mayor’s arguments. For them, it’s all part o discrimination by a male-dominated society that treats women as objects and belonging instead of people with emotional intelligence. They blame men for enjoying the food while at the same time throwing women under the table. Certainly, some of the scholarship girls will find other ways of pleasing their boyfriends.
Who knows whether our very own Babil Mansa is planning to provide scholarships for virgins in the Gambia? While we do not and will not condone immorality or indecency but we think our success lies in understanding our bodies. How about girls who lose their virginity while they are biking or running and are denied scholarships?