Mariam Mokhtar: Rina Harun, Radzi Jidin must act immediately to stop the “period checks”

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Why are the Ministers for Women, Family and Community Development, Rina Harun and Education, Radzi Jidin, silent about the latest scandal involving schoolgirls?

The latest expose is shocking. Many of the girls claimed to have attended residential (boarding) schools, co-ed day schools, and Islamic private schools.

Girls contacted Malaysiakini to relate stories of being forced to undergo “period spot checks”.

FMT

The girls had to submit proof they are menstruating, like showing their blood-soaked sanitary pad, or providing swabs on their vagina with cotton buds, tissues, or their fingers

Others said that a teacher, warden or school prefect may touch them in the groin to feel if they are using a sanitary pad.

(NB. For your information, tampons are rarely used by Malays. One ustazah told some of my Malay friends that the tampons will tear your hymen and no man will want you for a wife! Why does Malaysia have fools, ignorant and stupid Malays influencing our children.)

The girls, many from co-ed religious or boarding schools, responded to a call for stories from school. Some stories go back 20 years. Many of the girls are still traumatised by these forced checks.

Failure to follow the orders is tantamount to lying.

In Islam, girls who are menstruating are not allowed to join prayers.

Many who were sent to these schools, especially the residential schools, did not know about periods. (I think they enter these schools at 13. Perhaps others can confirm).

When they returned home, many were afraid to tell their mothers, despite feeling violated and ashamed. They were under the impression that to be groped, to show evidence of menstruating, was normal practice.

In these schools, seniors or teachers would demand proof of having periods, as the girl will have excused herself from prayers.

One traumatised former schoolgirl said, “I remember at one point, they had asked us to assemble at the football field.

“The teachers and representatives had to check our panties one by one by groping our behind. It was rather demeaning, and I felt sick to the stomach.”

A girl who used tampons was told by her ustazah, “Are you itching to have a penis in you?”

The disgusting practise still happens today.

This is state-sanctioned sexual harassment, body shaming and violation of privacy. Teachers, wardens, ustads/ustazahs/seniors abuse their powers and harass the girls.

Even if some of the incidents happened at least two decades ago, the perpetrators MUST be hauled up and punished. The current practice must stop. Anyone still doing it should be taken to court and face charges.

Rina and Radzi. Where are you? Why the silence?

Get to work or resign. – Rebuilding Malaysia