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Egypt bans 'virginity tests' by military rulers on women

The practice of the ‘tests’ had caused outrage among women and human rights groups.

Samira Ibrahim, 25, flashes the victory sign during a rally supporting women's rights in Cairo, Egypt, today. Ibrahim filed a lawsuit  against virginity tests after being subjected to a forced 'test'.
Samira Ibrahim, 25, flashes the victory sign during a rally supporting women's rights in Cairo, Egypt, today. Ibrahim filed a lawsuit against virginity tests after being subjected to a forced 'test'.
Image: AP Photo/Ahmed Ali

A COURT IN Egypt has ordered the country’s military rulers to stop the use of ‘virginity tests’ on female detainees.

The move is a victory for women in the country, where the ‘tests’ carried out by the military had caused outrage among human rights groups.

A 25-year-old woman, Samira Ibrahim, had taken the army to court over the practice after she was subjected to one of the ‘tests’ in April of this year after she protested in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Ibrahim had been the only woman subjected to the practice who had made an official complaint.

The ban comes less than a week after major protests in Egypt over the treatment of women by the military.

Around ten thousand women marched in Cairo this week against Egypt’s military rulers – after soldiers were photographed dragging women by the hair and stomping on them in a crackdown on activists in the country.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused the Egyptian security forces and extremists of specifically targeting women, saying:

This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonours the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform, and is not worthy of a great people.

Egypt: Thousands march to protest soldiers’ attacks on women >

Egypt general admits ‘virginity’ tests were forced on female protesters >

- Additional reporting by Associated Press

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