Keeping your virginity can get you scholarship in South Africa

Melbourne: Keep your virginity and get awarded…this is the new scheme, under which a South African mayor has awarded scholarships to 16 young females for remaining virgin till completing their studies.

The scholarship has been introduced this year to encourage others to be “pure and focus on school” and has been awarded to young women from the Uthukela district in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, reports

The young women, who applied for the scholarships voluntarily, stayed virgins and agreed to have regular virginity tests to keep their funding, Uthukela Mayor Dudu Mazibuko told in an interview. South Africa’s department of basic education recorded about 20,000 pregnancies among girls and young women in schools in 2014, with 223 pregnant girls still in primary school, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Though some activists have called for the banning of virginity testing in South Africa, the mayor said that it is constitutional if tested with consent. Those defending the cultural practice say that it preserves tradition and has been modernised to teach girls about their reproductive health and HIV and AIDS.