South African court banishes

South African court banishes "virgin bursaries"

A South African court has ruled that a controversial scheme offering university scholarships to young South African women who remain virgins is unconstitutional.

South African court banishes "virgin bursaries"

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Recipients of the controversial scholarships which were offered only to women required them to undergo virginity tests each time they returned home for holidays.

Many activists have criticized the scheme called, "maiden's bursaries" which was instituted in January by South African mayor Dudu Mazibuko to reduce teenage pregnancy and the spread of HIV/Aids as well as create job opportunities for women in her KwaZulu Natal province.

It opened a national debate which saw human right activists slam the scheme's emphasis on virginity as outdated while traditionalists said it would help preserve the African culture.

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The Commission for Gender Equality also said the scheme was discriminatory and perpetuates patriarchy and inequality towards women because male students were not subjected to the same tests.

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