Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Feminism, Gender Violence, HIV/AIDS

Virgin graduates.

Uganda continues with it’s ‘innovative’ ways of managing and preventing HIV/AIDS.  The first idea was to bribe young girls and women with "incentives such as certificates and other gifts" in exchange for sexual abstinence until marriage.  Now Ugandan MP Sulaiman Madada has come up with an extension of this by offering virgins free university education.   

The call for abstinence in fighting HIV/Aids is backed by religious groups and Uganda’s first lady Janet Museveni, who supports a campaign for young Ugandans to pledge abstinence until marriage.

Only girls in Kayunga district who pass a virginity test will qualify for the bursary, which will start next year.

This is an excellent way to teach young women about how to exchange power over their bodies for material and monetary gain.  The young girls will be required to take virginity tests in order to qualify for the burseries and presumably the tests will continue throughout their university courses.   Of course young men will not have to undergo any humiliating medical examinations of their genital regions nor will they be subject to moral dictades by the reactionay religious zealots out there.  Another highly offensive gender biased policy.




  1. Rosie

    OOOOOOkay – now I feel helpless for being born a woman. It is okay to teach abstinence but back it up with “safe sex” teachings. There are several underlying issues here that are not being addressed…

    What if a girl is sexually assaulted, she is technically no longer a virgin but the act was forced on her so can she still go to school for free?

    What about female athletes? Hymens are known to be torn during athletic activities…Will they qualify?

    Any male can say he is a virgin, afterall how can we tell…so which of them go to school for free…perhaps the polygraph test should be implemented in their case instead of “virginity tests.”

    I remember in high school, my friend was very upset because her father who was a doctor wanted a urine sample from her to ensure she was not pregnant even after she repeatedly denied it. She flatly refused to give a sample, stating he would have to strap her down and wring it from her sheets.

    Let the female own her body. Let her decide what she wants to do with it. Several organizations around the world are slowly eroding the “bodily” rights of women. (The abortion debate is still brewing…despite the key issue being the health and well being of the woman )to those who feel the female being is an object like a car to be opened up and inspected, messing around with the engines or any other mechanical functions – desist. God gave the female being the power, the ability and the pain of bringing life into the world. If SHE did not think we could handle the task, SHE would have given men ovaries and vaginas.

    The Ugandan government should be applauded for combating HIV/Aids aggresively but this tactic is very very questionable.

  2. On the positive side I have just read that Uganda has passed its target of 60,000 people on ARV by the end of this year – the total is now 65,000.

  3. dt

    Well, ridiculous as that sounds, I hope they back it up with other measures such as improving access to healthcare, encouraging safe sex practices, and the like.

  4. I agree with you. Access to healthcare for people with HIV/AIDs is apparently quite good and drugs are for example much cheaper and accessable than in nearby South Africa. Outside Kampala I do not know but I will try to find out. However I do the strategies mentioned in this post are ridiculous and unworkable apart from the fact that they are highly offensive. Also no matter how accessable the health care is, if people are afraid to use the service for fear of being stigmatised or just generally afraid, then it is not much use.

  5. Rosie

    I just read that the killer of the Dutch Film maker Van Gogh has been sentenced to life. Hopefully this will make Ayaan Hirsi Ali feel a little safer. Just a brief update.