Prevailing patriarchal and cultural norms in some societies prevent women victims of sexual crimes from talking out by shaming them.
The ability to give birth is widely touted as a woman’s defining feature. Having children – or wanting them, and how you have them are a source of anxiety for many women. In this respect, famous women such as Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, Gabrielle Union, Beyoncé and Tracee Ellis Ross help give voice to all women.
The South African charity Action Breaks Silence is working with schools to educate girls in self-defence and mental strength while encouraging boys to be empathetic and emotionally expressive. So far, more than 12,000 girls and 1,365 boys in 150 schools countrywide have been through the programme.
Tanzania has a population of about 53 million people, of which 70% live below the poverty level, surviving on about US$2 a day. Despite this, President Magufuli has instructed women to do away with birth control interventions, claiming that the country needs more people.
About 80 per cent of all persons with disabilities live in developing countries, with 15 per cent of Africans estimated to have moderate to severe disabilities. Young persons with disabilities are three times more likely than non-disabled people to suffer physical, sexual and emotional violence.
South Africa held a consultative Indaba on The Draft National Policy Framework on Sanitary Dignity that looks to provide free sanitary towels for young women and girls. In South Africa having a period is an expense that many cannot afford, and millions of girls miss school each month due to lack of sanitary pads.
As the global spotlight falls on demographic changes today – in honour of World Population Day – South Africa can boast about having made strong policy strides in combatting HIV. A new plan to introduce condoms in schools is promising but many doubts have been raised about its implementation.
In South Africa, the world’s third successful penis transplant has been successfully performed by a team from Stellenbosch University at the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town. The transplant took nine and a half hours. The recipient of the transplant was a black man who had complications after a traditional circumcision 17 years ago and had lost his penis while the donor was a white man.
In much of Africa, HIV is no longer the medieval plague it used to be. Which is not to say the virus still doesn’t pose a significant threat to the continent’s future. HIV is a wily fiend and our hard-earned gains can be quickly eroded if complacency slips in. Thankfully, as Kenyan HIV activist Jacqueline Wambui explains to Dr. Diana Wangari in this interview, science is helping keep the virus at bay by giving women greater control in the bedroom than they’ve traditionally had.