Activism

Women Forced To Take Virginity Tests In India

This woman wants to end forced virginity tests in India. This sexist tradition of the Kanjarbhat Tribe says that every bride must be subjected to virginity testing by showing blood-staining sheets on her wedding night to prove if she is “pure” or “spoiled.” The test is enforced by the Panchayat, the local village council and a bride can face severe consequences, including beatings if she is not proven “pure,” despite medical evidence proving not all virgins bleed during sex.

Priyanka Tamachekar, a member of Stop the V-Ritual, stated, “When I realized all this, I decided I would not allow this ritual at my wedding.  I knew that someday I would have to fight this practice.”

Tamachekar is an activist with Stop the V-Ritual, a movement created by her cousin, Vivek. He and his fiancée are refusing to undergo the test and are rallying community members to end the practice.

“It’s a complete violation of a couple’s right to privacy and the way it is done is very crude and traumatizing.” Vivek explained. “They are forced to consummate the marriage with many people sitting outside the room, and the groom is often given alcohol and shown pornography is order to “educate” him.”

Stop the V-Ritual started as a WhatsApp campaign and, though they are facing community rejection and attacks from the tribe, they are not backing down.