Mumbai: The Maharashtra government may soon outlaw ‘virginity test’ that some communities in the state practice, wherein girls are supposed to prove their virginity prior to the wedding.
Not only will it be made illegal but if practiced thereon, it would fall in the ambit of sexual abuse, Minister of State for Home told the media.
“Virginity test will be considered a form of sexual assault…after consultations with the Law and Judiciary department; a circular will be issued declaring it a punishable offence.”
According to reports, the custom is followed in the Kanjarbhat community among others. Some youths from the community have even launched online campaigns against it in the past.
Recently, the National Commission for Women (NCW) had expressed concerns over reports of girls being forcefully tested for virginity in the nomadic tribe of Kanjarbhat. They labelled the custom as regressive, misogynistic and in violation of human rights.
Reportedly, the NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma then also wrote to the Maharashtra’s women and child welfare minister Pankaja Gopinath Munder, urging her to look into the matter at the earliest.
Minister Patil, meanwhile, also said his department will hold bi-monthly review of cases of sexual assault, and ensure low pendency of such cases in the courts.