The virginity testing, according to experts, is a gynecological inspection of female genitalia carried out in the false belief that it can reliably determine whether a woman or girl has had vaginal intercourse.
"The practice is a long-standing tradition documented in at least 20 countries, spanning all regions of the world. Women and girls are often forced to undergo virginity testing for various reasons, including requests from parents or potential partners to establish marriage eligibility or even from potential employers," said UN in a statement.
"It is mostly performed by doctors, police officers, or community leaders on women and girls, in order to assess their virtue, honour or social value."
The UN said that the practice has no scientific or clinical basis and that there is no examination that can prove a girl or woman has had sex, as the appearance of girl's or woman's hymen cannot prove whether they have had sexual intercourse or are sexually active or not.
"In some regions, it is common for health professionals to perform virginity testing on victims of rape, supposedly to ascertain whether or not rape occurred. Given the lack of clinical basis, the procedure is deemed unnecessary and can cause pain and mimic the original act of sexual violence, exacerbating survivors' sense of disempowerment and cause re-victimisation," read the statement.
"The result of this unscientific test can impact upon judicial proceedings, often to the detriment of victims and in favour of perpetrators, sometimes resulting in perpetrators being acquitted," the statement added.
"Given that these procedures are unnecessary and potentially harmful, it is unethical for doctors or other health providers to undertake them. Such procedures must never be carried out," the joint statement read, calling for a collaborative response across societies, supported by the public health community and all health professionals."
Recently, American rapper T.I attracted criticism after revealing that he sends his daughter for virginity testing.
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