Gender HIV Sterilisation

On the 24th of February 2020, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) will be launching its investigation report on Forced and Coerced Sterilisation. This report is borne out of the complaint that the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) lodged with the Commission on behalf of Her Rights Initiative (HRI), and International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW).

As a result of this complaint, the Commission sampled 15 hospitals both in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng where most complainants were residing and where the alleged gross human rights violations that women living with HIV in South Africa were exposed to being subjected to forced and/or coerced sterilisation in public hospitals, took place. The CGE adopted a three-pronged approach in addressing this complaint that is requesting further detail and/or information from the complainants, meeting (s) with the Department of Health and Onesite inspections in partnership with the Department of Health.

This investigation on forced/coerced sterilisation wanted to establish if indeed the complainants, who were women and HIV positive, were forced to consent to being sterilized in circumstances that undermined their ability to act voluntarily and amounts to cruel or degrading treatment.

The CGE, therefore, invites you to the media briefing to share the findings and the recommendations of this investigation report on forced/coerced sterilisation which we believe is not limited Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, henceforth had a devasting impact on the mental health of the complainants.

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