An organisation in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is privately lobbying to have the controversial 'virgin bursaries' revived, after the Gender Commission put an end to the UThukela District Municipality's Maidens Bursary last year.
Virginity inspector Dr Nomagugu Ngobese is the founder of the KZN NGO Nomkhubulwane Culture and Youth Development Organisation, and has defended the bursary.
Ngobese claims that it's a motivation for virgins, the same way government gives grants as incentives to pregnant teenagers.
When we talk about virgins, people always howl. But when we look at teenage pregnancy in schools, the government gives those people grants which is unfair for us as parents and cultural activists.— Dr Nomagugu Ngobese, founder of the Nomkhubulwane Culture and Youth Development Organisation
She says that the bursary is an effort to promote education and the self-esteem of young women.
Women who are doing good in South African are being discriminated.— Dr Nomagugu Ngobese, founder of the Nomkhubulwane Culture and Youth Development Organisation
According to Ngobese, the so-called virgin bursary has nothing to do with gender discrimination.
She believes the bursary does not discriminate against rape victims or survivors of sexual violence.
Ngobese maintains that the bursary is working to end the cycle which seemingly perpetuates teenage pregnancy.
Ngobese advises that they hope to appeal to young men through interventions as well, with the help of government.
We would like to penetrate to boys, so that boys must stop impregnating girls, but girls are the first priority.— Dr Nomagugu Ngobese, founder of the Nomkhubulwane Culture and Youth Development Organisation
Meanwhile, the Commission for Gender Equality says the practice is discriminatory and will investigate Ngobese's efforts and other parties involved.
Gender Commission spokesperson Javu Baloyi says the will engage to work towards a fair, constitutional and just solution.
Dr. Ngobese accused the Gender Commission of dictatorship and appeals to corporate organisations to come on board to support the virgin bursaries.
She says the bursary will consider the following candidates:
- girl children
- those with good academic performance
- those living HIV/Aids
- those with disabilities
- survivors of sexual violence
Take a listen to the heated discussion here:
Meanwhile, some 702 and CapeTalk listeners have shared their views on Twitter:
@Eusebius cultural practice should not be used to control women.Why the need to control women's bodies? Mxm Equality&Freedom Dololo 4 girls— Hlengiwe (@Freshfacedcosmy) January 10, 2017
@Eusebius so rape victims must declare their misfortune in order to be considered for this bursary? Name & shame for education? Wow!!— Vumile Yoliswa (@vumiley) January 10, 2017