South Africa's virgin scholarships
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South African mayor awards virgin scholarships in bid to curb HIV

A South African scheme which offers female students scholarships if they can prove they are virgins has been widely condemned.

The mayor of a rural town in KwaZulu-Natal province has awarded 16 grants to teenage girls to study at university.

The mayor says the bursaries will help tackle high rates of teenage pregnancy and HIV.

Recipients of the scholarships will have to undergo regular virginity tests to keep the scholarship.

But human rights groups say the scheme is discriminatory and are calling for it to be scrapped.

  • 09 Feb 2016