Brazilian women teachers have to prove virginity or be tested

A state in Brazil is under fire for requiring prospective female teachers to have gynaecological exams or prove their virginity in order to work.

Sao Paulo state’s education department requires the women to have a pap smear to show they are free of cancers or produce a doctor’s statement that they have not been sexually active.

Critics say it is an invasion of privacy, but the education department says it is intended to prevent long term absences from work because of illness.

Other state and federal agencies in Brazil have similar requirements, it said.

Sao Paulo’s public management department said other health tests are also required,  like a mammography for women and prostate exams for men over 40.

But the gynaecological tests have been criticised as especially invasive.

Recently, a 27-year-old woman said she was ashamed to ask a doctor for a note declaring she was still a virgin to escape the other tests.

Catholics for the Right to Choose was one of the groups objecting, saying in a statement: “We are living in the Middle Ages!”

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