Gender

Limited Access to Contraceptives Increases Abortion

According to the Department of National Health, two-thirds of sexually active women in South Africa use contraceptives to prevent unplanned pregnancy, yet almost 90 000 abortions were performed in government clinics and hospitals in the 2012-2013 financial year, almost 20 000 more than the previous year.

Andrea Thompson from Marie Stopes South Africa, a non-governmental organisation that offers reproductive health services at reduced rates, points out that the organisation has experienced ‘a slight decline in women seeking abortions’.

Call to Bring Back Abducted Girls

As worldwide outrage grows over the abduction of Nigerian School girls a month ago, Malawi has joined the entire world in the ‘Bring Back Our Girls Campaign’, which is running across the world.
 
It is almost a month now that more than 200 girls were abducted from their school in Chibok, a town in North Eastern Nigeria and their school was set on fire.
 

Police: AIDS Project Pays Men to be Gay

According to a newspaper report, Ugandan police are accusing a United States-funded AIDS project for paying young men to become homosexuals.

The Daily Monitor quotes police as saying that the Walter Reed Project, which provides treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS, had been ‘infiltrated’ by officers and was found to be recruiting gays.

SA Women Still Facing Challenges

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) says that as the country celebrates 20 years of democracy, women are still faced with a number of challenges.

The commission, which is an independent and statutory body created in terms of the South African Constitution, states that one of the challenges that women face is being discriminated against because of their gender.

CGE chairperson, Mfanozelwe Shozi, has been speaking at the start of the three day national gender summit in Benoni in Ekurhuleni on Gauteng's East Rand.

Gays Divided Over HIV Prevention Drug

A drug hailed as a lifesaver for many people infected by HIV is at the heart of a rancorous debate among gay men, AIDS activists and health professionals over its potential for protecting uninfected men who engage in gay sex without using condoms.

Many doctors and activists see immense promise for such preventive use of Truvada, and are campaigning to raise awareness of it as a crucial step toward reducing new HIV infections, which now total about 50 000 a year in the United States.

SA Tops in New HIV Infections

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) says the proportion of South Africans infected with HIV has increased from 10.6 percent in 2008 to 12.2 percent in 2012.

According to the HSRC’s National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey, the total number of infected South Africans now stands at 6.4 million; 1.2 million more than in 2008.

It says women aged between 30 and 34 and males aged 35 to 39 have the highest infection rates: 36 percent of females and 28.8 percent of males in these respective age groups contracted HIV.

Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law Challenged

Gay rights activists in Uganda filed a legal petition against the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act, which calls for tougher penalties against gay persons. 
        
The new law strengthens existing punishments for anyone caught having gay sex, imposing jail terms of up to life for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ - including sex with a minor or while HIV-positive.
        
The legislation criminalises lesbianism for the first time and makes it a crime to help individuals engage in homosexual acts. 
         

NGOs Decry SA’s Child Abuse 'Epidemic'

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working with women and children say child abuse has become an epidemic in the country, with one in four children becoming victims of abuse.

Saartjie Baartman spokesperson, Shaheema McLeod, states that one of the problems that they have picked up in their areas is that there are little resources available for parents to take their kids for assistance.

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