18 June 2016
A government commission in South Africa on Gender Equality has ruled that giving scholarships to female University students who remain virgin is “fundamentally discriminatory” and unconstitutional.
The scholarships known as “maidens’ bursaries” were awarded in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to 16 students on condition they refrained from sex until they graduated.
The Mayor, Dudu Mazibuko, said that the scholarships were set up to curb the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country.
The Commission for Gender Equality on the other hand called the initiative ridiculous, saying, “it goes against the ethos of the constitutional provisions in relation to dignity, equality and discrimination.”
Other Women’s Rights groups have also criticised the scholarship, stating that the fact that the scholarships are given to women alone shows that it is intrinsically sexist, pushing the onus of abstinence on women alone.