Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

virginity on sale in Ainiba, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia

Prostitution is the oldest work on the globe and it happen everywhere. The varieties reason why people choosing prostitution as a job and we can not make it into a general reason. Even, the sources of prostitution is on the culture where people life (Koentjoro, 1997). In Indonesia, prostitution is well developed on Majapahit empire era, this come from the kitab Mahabrata (Mahabrata’s book) which tell us about affair and prostitution. One of the oldest prostitution sources in Indonesia is on Ainiba, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Nusa Tenggara Timur is closed to East Timor and covered by Timor Sea, Flores Sea and Sawu Sea.

Ainiba is a small village located in coordinate 9° 3’ 10” north and 124° 48’ 58” east. People there in majority work as farmer or fisher man and they are categorized as a poor community. Long time ago, Ainiba is under Lidak Empire’s authority and when the king looking for his concubine, he went to the village and chooses girl. The girl is called anak nona, that sometimes being use as great prize from the authoritarian who lead a small area under Lidak. As a gift, the King gives the parent’s girl amount of land, house and cattle. When the King chooses one of parent’s girls, automatically this girl give prosperity and pride for her family.

Nowadays, Lidak is unauthorized anymore but the custom becomes a tradition, we call it virginity on sales tradition. Parents is an instigator, and when their daughter rejected to sale, parents frighten her that their family will be curse. Parents tell her daughter that she is a hero, save family member and a good child like cited from the bible. Ainiba’s family consists of more than three members, mostly poor and covered by kinship tradition, which is why virginity on sale is being used to feed the family member.

From the girl side, we can view this behavior as a pride, material appreciation and modeling for her environment. The buyer who sense the virginity is show or point out his name, it call hasainaran. Now, the buyer is from Chinese ethnicity who command the economic and from the local citizen like official functionary or land lord. Girl age is between 8-17 years old, younger and prettier will be valued higher. The interesting side is practice of virginity on sale is take place at their house and guiding by her parents or family. House is build from bebak, palm of fan leaf (Eorassus Flabellifer leaf), with 5m X 6m size only and room only separated by curtain.

(this article is based on my friend's research, Jeny Bailao)


jadefrank's picture

Virginity for sale

Hello Rahma,

I find it so sad that virginity is something that comes with a price tag. That a young girls' virginity becomes like an item at a livestock auction. That virginity is something a man takes or "buys", rather than something a woman gives.

You have written a wonderful article on the practice of virginity bidding in your country. But I wonder - what are your personal thoughts on this issue?

Thank you for sharing.

Warm regards,

Hi, Rahma;

I read your information with interest.

When I read stories such as these, I am given cause to reflect on this FACT: why is it, than when people - right around the Globe, see/speak/think of "Prostitution" ...they ALWAYS see ONLY THE WOMAN'S face/body? Do WOMEN engage in the VERY PHYSICAL ACT OF SOLD-SEX, by THEMSELVES - ALONE?

This just goes to show that people - WOMEN and MEN, actually have a PART TO PLAY in "fixing" all that is wrong, hypocritical and mysogynistic about how Society MAKE Words "mean" all that they deliberately set out to make them mean.

My point here being - when taken against the background of your story, Rahma: for as long as Women CONTINUE TO SPEAK THE WORDS THAT MEN HAVE PLACED - FOR THEIR OWN GAINS, IN WOMEN'S MOUTHS, then PELLUCIDLY FACTUAL terms such as FEMALE VIRGINITY, will continue to be SACRIFIED for the more neutral VIRGINITY. A non-specificity that is DELIBERATELY rendered by Men, and dutifully parroted by Women, in order to ALLOW MEN to be VISUALLY/COGNITIVELY SHIELDED from ASSUMING THEIR GUILT/BLAME/SHAME, EVEN WHEN THEIR ILL-DEEDS ARE SPOKEN OF.

In the same manner that - right around the Globe, television reporters and newspapers report RAPE, instead of MALE-RAPE OF WOMEN (which latter is invariably the case generally, and may factually be the case within that particular report), so too has the selective concentration upon commercialisation of "Virginity," as opposed to the commercialisation of FEMALE-VIRGINITY, managed to SHIELD MEN FROM THEIR DUE SHARE OF GUILT/BLAME/SHAME....AS PROCURERS! ....AS MEN WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER, GIVING IN TO THEIR LUST FOR LITTLE GIRL'S INNOCENT, HALF-FORMED BODIES! ....AS SO-CALLED "CIVILIZED" HUMAN BEINGS, YET CAUGHT-OUT IN PERFORMING AN UN-CIVILIZED, IN-HUMANE ACT!

For certainly, ALL THAT IS SHAMING, REPREHENSIBLE, DERISIVE, TAUNTING...about the term MALE RAPIST will get "SPOKEN," if reports on Rape CHOOSE to state: "...The MALE-RAPIST...", instead of the FACTUALLY-NEUTERED, and HYPOCRITICALLY-UNTRUTHFUL "..The RAPIST..."

Just imagine! pages...and pages...and pages...and pages...of NEWSPAPERS...identifying "...the Male Rapist!" BOOKS......identifying "...the Male Rapist!" ! MAGAZINES...identifying "...the Male Rapist!" !

Together with hours...and hours, ...and hours...and hours...and hours...of MEDIA REPORTS ...identifying "...the Male Rapist!" ! FILMS...identifying "...the Male Rapist!" ! DOCUMENTARIES...identifying "...the Male Rapist!" !


However, if at this nascent - social stage of Ascribing Guilt in order to Procure Justice, WOMEN assist MEN in their deployment of DELIBERATELY-STERILIZED, or HYPOCRITICALLY-SKEWED words and terminology that do not IMMEDIATELY - and as much VISUALLY as COGNITIVELY place MALE-BLAME squarely upon MALE-SHOULDERS, it is no surprise that when this attempt at social justice devolves to Legal Redress, WOMEN ACCUSERS find themselves hamstrung from the outset by a paucity of CIRCUMSTANSTIAL EVIDENCE: being the "SEEN," "FELT" and "KNOWN" EVIDENCE SURROUNDING THE ACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CRIME, and NOT what is "SAID" ABOUT THE CRIME.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Face to Face with the U.S. Special Envoy to DRC

Face to Face with the U.S. Special Envoy to DRC

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Highlights of the 2014 World Pulse LIVE Tour

Highlights of the 2014 World Pulse LIVE Tour

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative