• Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty

    UM, WHAT?

    Virginity Tests Proposed in Indonesia

    To protect against prostitution—and discourage premarital sex.

    Well, hopefully this will be the end of it. Indonesian officials on Tuesday dismissed a proposal by an education official that female students should undergo virginity tests to prevent prostitution—and to discourage regular premarital sex. Sumatran provincial education chief Widodo said Tuesday that he would try to persuade local education official Muhammad Rasyid not to implement his plan, with Widodo saying, “There are many more important and useful things that need to be cared for rather than such a test.” In Jakarta, Aris Merdeka Sirait of the National Commission for Child Protection said he “strongly opposed” such an “excessive move”—and said it had been made “just for popularity.”

  • Contestants in the Miss India pageant, a controversial annual event that feminists and Hindu fundamentalists want to shut down.

    From thong to sarong

    Bikinis Banned from Miss World

    Pageant contestants will wear sarongs instead at 2013 competition in conservative Indonesia.

    Indonesia will host the Miss World pageant later this year on its resort island of Bali, and controversy is already swirling around the competition after organizers announced they will axe the famous bikini portion of the pageant. Indonesia is the world’s largest Islamic country, and pressure from several conservative Muslim groups forced the London-based Miss World Organization to substitute Bali’s traditional beach sarongs for the traditional skimpy two-pieces. The organization says it agreed to the request out of respect for the country’s customs and values.