Johannesburg - The women department expressed concern on Tuesday over the way girl pupils were treated at private school, Jordao College, in Johannesburg.
“This incident shows that we still have a long way to go in dealing with gender stereotypes in our society,” said spokeswoman Kenosi Machepa in a statement.
The Grade 10-12 girl pupils were apparently checked by teachers for sexual activity after a cleaner found a bloodied condom in the girls' toilet.
Machepa said the fact that the pupils were checked by female teachers did little to preserve their dignity.
“The school sends a negative message about the privacy and right to dignity of the girl child and women in society.
“Often women and girls are subjected to practices which infringe their fundamental right to equal treatment, as is the case here.”
She said it was also worrying that a condom was found on the school premises.
“It indicates the need to strengthen sexual education and life orientation at our schools.”
Gauteng education department MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Monday that the management of the school should write a letter of apology to parents of the pupils.
Lesufi said this was not the way to treat girl children.
A team of counsellors had been sent to the school to help the pupils deal with the incident.