According to an undercover investigation, doctors in Sweden are performing ‘virginity tests’ on teenage girls against their will.
Secret footage filmed by reporters for Swedish current affairs programme Kalla Fakta (Cold Fact) showed doctors across the country agreeing to perform the illegal tests and admitting to doing them hundreds of times.
The test is common amongst religious families and is used to determine whether or not their daughters have had intercourse.
In the footage, two undercover journalists posed as an aunt and her 17-year-old niece. The aunt asks one doctor to perform the test then provide them with a “virginity certificate”, despite the niece’s protests.
A doctor’s duty in Sweden, under law, is to report a child to the authorities if they believe he or she is “in need of protection” – this is not what is happening.
The doctor in the undercover film insists that she has performed hundreds of these virginity tests – often on children.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Liesl Gerntholtz, of the Human Rights Watch said: “In a country that internationally has played a leading role in protecting women’s human rights, it was almost unthinkable to me that this would be happening in a country like Sweden.”
A girl only known as ‘Sara’ described her ordeal in the programme, saying: “I still feel ashamed because no-one can see the truth. I don’t know what other people think, but there’s nothing that proves anything that someone should examine me to see if I’m a virgin. It feels really disgusting.”
She was 13 at the time a doctor performed the test on her.