A South African region has launched a grant scheme for girls who remain virgins throughout their university studies. The bursary offered in Uthukela, in the south-east of the country near Durban, is the creation of the municipality female mayor, Dudu Mazibujo. News of the scheme sparked outrage from civil society groups, and other human rights group, with one women’s association branding it unconstitutional. A municipality spokesman Jabulani Mkhonza
“The bursaries are for young girls who are still virgins, it’s a new category which the mayor has introduced this year”,
“The goal was to encourage young girls to keep themselves pure and inactive from sexual activity and focus on their studies, beneficiaries of the grant would be subjected to regular virginity tests” he added
Those children who have been awarded bursaries will be checked whenever they come back for holidays. The bursary will be taken away if they lose their virginity,” said Mkhonza.
The People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa) group said it was shocked that taxpayers’ money was being used to violate girls’ rights:
“Powa is shocked to hear that young girls are being tested for virginity in order to get bursaries … it’s a violation of their rights”, the group’s executive director, Nonhlanhla Mokwena, said.
“That is taxpayers’ money that is being used to violate girls… (and) the constitution of this country” she added.
Many South Africans from poor backgrounds rely on government grants to get through university. Planned university fee increase last year provoked sometimes violent protests nationwide