Despite a public health policy outlawing the test, women continue to be subjected to this degrading ordeal, which can lead to arrest and imprisonment
Seven months ago, 18-year-old Bahara* was imprisoned for failing a test that she should never have had to undergo.
Bahara had run away from home to meet a man she had been in a relationship with. They had never met, but were in contact through calls and messages. That night, when they met for the first time, he raped her. But when she reported the rape to the police, instead of support, she was taken to hospital to undergo a virginity test – a practice that was banned in Afghanistan in 2016.
Fariba Housaini is a member of Sahar Speaks, a programme providing training, mentoring and publishing opportunities for Afghan female journalists