Why South African mayor offers virgin scholarships
Thursday, 11 February 2016 - 13:34
A scheme which offers female students scholarships to girls in rural South Africa if they can prove they are virgins has been condemned by human rights groups. The BBC's Nomsa Maseko visited the town to find out more.
Thubelihle Dlodlo is nervous about leaving home in Emcitsheni village in rural KwaZulu-Natal. The 18-year-old has won a prized scholarship, but there is a catch: she only qualifies for the funding if she keeps her virginity.
"Remaining a virgin is my only chance to get an education because my parents can't afford to take me to school," she says.
To continue receiving her funding, Ms Dlodlo has to undergo regular virginity tests but she says she does not mind.
"Virginity testing is part of my culture, it is not an invasion of my privacy and I feel proud after I'm confirmed to be pure."