Malaysia is among the world’s most morally conservative countries and any matters related to sex, gambling and consumption of alcohol will see strong opposition from a certain party.
With that, ‘virginity’ is considered a sensitive topic and more often a taboo in our country. Many were still of the opinion that a woman’s dignity depends on her virginity too.
Recently, the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) has posted a tweet to share how unmarried women in Malaysia have been discriminated by medical practitioners, and intend to spread awareness for women to stand up against it,
AWAM shared a video with its representative explaining how women are being dismissed when they request for a papsmear test just for not being married.
“Sebab dara pun boleh kena diskriminasi ke? Yeye je..” yes! It happens to so many Malaysian women! “Dara” and “suami” should not stop medical practitioners from prioritising patients! pic.twitter.com/SxoYVBnWum— All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) (@AWAMMalaysia) December 13, 2021
Very often, the reason given by the medical practitioners is that they have to “take care” of their virginity.
Besides, the representative also mention that women have to ask permission and get their husband’s signature first before requesting for permanent birth control surgery.
The tweet by AWAM went viral and many women were quick to agree on this and started to share their thoughts and even their own similar experiences.
I've been to 3 gynaes in the past 2 years and every time I requested for a pap smear, the doctors always declined saying "you don't need it since you're a virgin". I don't think cervical cancer takes into account if you're a virgin or not https://t.co/1DXjNlasjX— sofea (@sofeaabdullah__) December 14, 2021
“You’re not married yet, this procedure is only for people who are married.”
This is the statement that most Malaysian women received and netizens felt that they are being discriminated by it.
A netizen the point out that cervical cancer does not happen only on married women, but virgins still have a chance of getting it.
Meanwhile, this discrimination does not happen only when women requested for a papsmear test, but the same happened for fibroid and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
“They refused to do the transvaginal ultrasound procedure on me as I was ‘still a virgin.’” a netizen said.
One netizen even shared that she was being requested to remove a section that addresses the myth of ‘losing virginity’ surrounding pap smear when she was about to give a speech on cervical cancer and pap smear awareness.
“I was advised to remove that section as it was deemed to be controversial in our society.” she said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health recommends that women between the ages of 21 and 65 get a papsmear test every 3 years especially if they are sexually active.
Do you think it is right to deprive women of their rights to receive medical checkups just for them to maintain virginity? Share your thoughts!