An Indonesian official who claimed women could get pregnant by swimming in a pool where a man with ‘strong sperm’ had ejaculated has been sacked.
Sitti Hikmawatty, a former university professor and a member of Indonesia’s child protection commission, made the comments in an interview with Jakarta Tribune about teenage pregnancy in February.
In the interview, she said “There’s a certain kind of sperm that is very strong. Even without penetration, men may become sexually excited (by women in the pool) and ejaculate. If women are in a phase where they are sexually active, which could lead to conception.”
A three-member panel was established to decide whether she should be punished and the country’s president, Joko Widodo, has now signed off an order to ‘dishonourably’ remove her form her post.
Hikmawatty tried in vain to postpone her sacking on Monday by invoking the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mr President, there’s a common enemy we must face together, allow me to finish my child protection efforts during the pandemic.” she wrote to Widodo asking that her removal be put off.
After her comments two months ago, the child protection commission’s new chairman, known only as Susanto, said: “This should serve as a lesson for all officials to be extra careful when they make public statements.”
The claims made by Ms Hikmawatty were quickly rubbished by The Indonesian Doctors Association with a statement that semen would quickly die in chlorinated water, women cannot be impregnated in swimming pools.
She was also mocked on social media.
▼ One Twitter user wrote: “When there is a flood. Ordinary people: Save ourselves and other valuables. Sitti Wisdom: Please separate men and women so that no one gets pregnant.”
▼ A cartoon strip was also posted online showing a women getting pregnant after she entered flood waters with a man.