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Gujarat: Around 100  women allegedly made to undergo gynecological finger test

At the Surat state-run hospital, they were made to stand in a room in groups of 10 while lady doctors conducted the test on them

Sabrangindia 21 Feb 2020

Gujarat

After the heinous insult the 68 women students of a Bhuj girls’ college were subjected to by being asked to strip and prove they were menstruating, in another incident female trainee clerks of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) were allegedly made to strip, stand naked and undergo a gynecological finger test, apart from being asked personal questions at a state-run hospital, reported The Times of India. 

It is noteworthy that the "two-finger test" that was previously used to check if the hymen is still intact as well as the elasticity of the vagina in rape survivors to gauge if they were "habituated to sex" had been outlawed years ago in India. Also, in October 2018, the UN Human Rights, UN Women and the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that virginity testing must end as it is a painful, humiliating and traumatic practice, constituting violence against women. 

The complaint against what transpired at the state-run hospital in Surat, was lodged by the SMC Employees’ Union (SMCEU) with the municipal commissioner. It was reported that over a 100 employees were in for a rude shock when they reached the Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research (SMIMER) for a mandatory fitness test which is conducted after the completion of a three year probation period. While the male trainees underwent a general fitness assessment that included eye, ENT, heart and lung tests and an overall body check-up; apart from the controversial finger test, even the unmarried women were allegedly asked if they’d been pregnant and had to face rude behaviour from the lady doctors.

“Female employees were forced to stand naked together in groups of around 10 in a room where they did not have any privacy. The door was not properly closed and the only thing blocking the view from outside was a curtain,” said a senior corporation employee in whom one of the women confided.

AA Shaikh, general secretary of the union said, “The issue was brought to the knowledge of SMCEU by a few trainee women employees out of the nearly 400 whose services will be regularized this year. On hearing their trauma, we demand an immediate halt to such insulting and inhuman tests. I have never heard of such a test on women employees anywhere.”

Further alleging that performing the contentious finger test on the women in a group was demeaning, he said, “If they (doctors) had any doubt about an employee’s health, they should have got tests done in an acceptable manner. Asking even unmarried women about past pregnancies is downright insulting.”

The head of the gynecology department of the hospital, Ashwin Vachhani, said, “We have to examine women physically since it is mandatory as per the guidelines. I don’t know if such tests are done on men, but in the case of women, we follow rules to find out if they have any specific illness.”

Speaking to TOI a 45-year-old female employee said she had taken a fitness test around 20 years ago, but it didn’t involve any such procedure.

AK Naik, the deputy municipal commissioner (health) said, “I have received a complaint from the SMCEU. It will be sent to the superintendent of the hospital. After proper inquiry, they will submit a report to the municipal commissioner.”

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Related:

Four, including Principal, booked for humiliation of 68 girls in Bhuj hostel
Can't have rules violating students' dignity: NCW

 

Gujarat: Around 100  women allegedly made to undergo gynecological finger test

At the Surat state-run hospital, they were made to stand in a room in groups of 10 while lady doctors conducted the test on them

Gujarat

After the heinous insult the 68 women students of a Bhuj girls’ college were subjected to by being asked to strip and prove they were menstruating, in another incident female trainee clerks of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) were allegedly made to strip, stand naked and undergo a gynecological finger test, apart from being asked personal questions at a state-run hospital, reported The Times of India. 

It is noteworthy that the "two-finger test" that was previously used to check if the hymen is still intact as well as the elasticity of the vagina in rape survivors to gauge if they were "habituated to sex" had been outlawed years ago in India. Also, in October 2018, the UN Human Rights, UN Women and the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that virginity testing must end as it is a painful, humiliating and traumatic practice, constituting violence against women. 

The complaint against what transpired at the state-run hospital in Surat, was lodged by the SMC Employees’ Union (SMCEU) with the municipal commissioner. It was reported that over a 100 employees were in for a rude shock when they reached the Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research (SMIMER) for a mandatory fitness test which is conducted after the completion of a three year probation period. While the male trainees underwent a general fitness assessment that included eye, ENT, heart and lung tests and an overall body check-up; apart from the controversial finger test, even the unmarried women were allegedly asked if they’d been pregnant and had to face rude behaviour from the lady doctors.

“Female employees were forced to stand naked together in groups of around 10 in a room where they did not have any privacy. The door was not properly closed and the only thing blocking the view from outside was a curtain,” said a senior corporation employee in whom one of the women confided.

AA Shaikh, general secretary of the union said, “The issue was brought to the knowledge of SMCEU by a few trainee women employees out of the nearly 400 whose services will be regularized this year. On hearing their trauma, we demand an immediate halt to such insulting and inhuman tests. I have never heard of such a test on women employees anywhere.”

Further alleging that performing the contentious finger test on the women in a group was demeaning, he said, “If they (doctors) had any doubt about an employee’s health, they should have got tests done in an acceptable manner. Asking even unmarried women about past pregnancies is downright insulting.”

The head of the gynecology department of the hospital, Ashwin Vachhani, said, “We have to examine women physically since it is mandatory as per the guidelines. I don’t know if such tests are done on men, but in the case of women, we follow rules to find out if they have any specific illness.”

Speaking to TOI a 45-year-old female employee said she had taken a fitness test around 20 years ago, but it didn’t involve any such procedure.

AK Naik, the deputy municipal commissioner (health) said, “I have received a complaint from the SMCEU. It will be sent to the superintendent of the hospital. After proper inquiry, they will submit a report to the municipal commissioner.”

https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

Related:

Four, including Principal, booked for humiliation of 68 girls in Bhuj hostel
Can't have rules violating students' dignity: NCW

 

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