• Botswana Ordered to Provide ARVs to Prisoners

    Botswana's High Court orders the government to provide treatment to HIV-positive foreign prisoners at the state's expense.

    Justice Bengbame Sechele, ruled that the denial of anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to foreign inmates violated their rights.

    The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS supports the challenge against government policy, saying it violated the prisoners' constitutional right to equality, dignity and non-discrimination.

    To read the article titled, “Botswana has to pay HIV treatment for foreigners,” click here.

    News 24
  • Swazi Govt Clamps Down on Free Speech

    The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) expresses its deepest concern at reports from Swaziland that Vincent Ncongwane, secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), was prevented from speaking at a gathering.
    Ncongwane, who returned from the United States (US) where he attended a civil society meeting held to coincide with the US-Africa Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama, was due to address the gathering on the outcomes of this visit.
    SALC's executive director, Nicole Fritz states that, "The Swazi government is clearly angered that representatives of civil society dared speak out about the withdrawal of Swaziland's eligibility under the American African Growth and Opportunities Act” adding that, "It is distressing, but not surprising, that this now leads the authorities to actively prevent individuals who disagree with the official position from expressing their views."
    To read the article titled, “Continuing clamp down on free speech in Swaziland,” click here.

    All Africa
  • GBV Hinders Women’s Freedom - Chipatiso

    According to Linda Musariri Chipatiso, it seems incongruous that South Africans celebrate Women's Month, yet stories of conflict and gender-based violence (GBV) flood today's headlines.

    In her article titled ‘Gender Violence Still Hinders Women's Freedom’, Chipatiso argues that, “Whether it is the abduction of girls in Nigeria, the unending trial of Oscar Pistorius or the young woman raped and murdered last over the weekend because of her sexuality- the horrific immediacy of violence is all too apparent.”

    She states that the majority of cases go unreported, unnoticed and justice is not served, adding that it is also evident in conflict and post-conflict situations where rape is often used as a weapon of war.

    To read the article titled, “Gender Violence Still Hinders Women's Freedom,” click here.

    All Africa
  • UN Slams Abuse of Albinos

    A United Nations (UN) expert has condemned the abuse of young albinos in government care centres in Tanzania, a country where many are killed and their body parts sold as lucky charms.

    Alicia Londono, of the UN human rights office, says that after a spike in killings in 2009, the government placed youngsters in children's homes in a desperate effort to defend them.

    Londono points out that, “It was a protective measure, and welcome at the beginning,” adding that, “But the conditions are appalling. They are overcrowded, hygiene conditions are very poor.”

    At least 74 albinos have been murdered in the East African country since 2000.

    To read the article titled, “UN expert slams ‘abuse’ of albinos in Tanzania,” click here

    IOL News
  • Imbokodo in the 21st Century

    Pioneers of yesteryear, present and future, these words are what best describe a woman in the twenty first century. While we simply call them ‘Imbokodo’, women who are capable of being home engineers, chief executive officers, the transport lady, the tutor and still find time to educate oneself, whether through an institution or the University of Life. Nonetheless, since the 9 August 1956, the word woman has upheld the notion that generations of doubters have suspected all throughout history. The strength of a woman has since existed centuries before and has never subsided, as though it is powered by solar even through hardships.
    But in most recent years the outcry of the once muffled voice of your everyday woman is no longer submerged in the corridors of their thoughts or behind thatched and muddied houses or barb wired or electric fenced properties. Since the liberation of our beloved country the rights and thoughts of all have taken precedence.
    But considering all facts and reports there is bound to be one area if not all where regardless of how immaculate the job is done because women are the dominant factor in that field or sport, it will not hold as much respect and recognition as the male counter parts.  In a recent sit down by Youth Fit Africa, coach Greg Green of Crusaders Ladies F.C had this to say about woman in soccer, “While South Africa has the SASOL women’s league; there is no professional women’s league in the country. Green explained that the SASOL women’s teams get around R20 000 - R30 000 a year towards logistics. This poses a challenge.
    He went on to further state, “The lack of resources and structure means that talent is going unnoticed and undeveloped. “Because there is no structure and support, woman’s football has not been take seriously, even though our women are finishing second and third in Africa consistently and qualified for the Olympics,” “It’s a very sexist environment, but we have persevered to get to this point,” he said. While these descriptives are still very much the norm in terms of how women are perceived within society.
    Another blatant fact has evoked an outcry that reverberated in the ears of gender justice organisations, and is seldomly interrogated, given the extent of its perceived sensitivity, according to research by Sonke Gender Justice, besides injustice inflicted upon citizens of South Africa, this has escalated to migrant women entering the borders illegally which one of the researchers has stated, ln one area where there is a large number of migrants especially women, they get abused because they are vulnerable they don’t have money, no resources, so they are used as sexual objects”.
    The researcher further stated, “The women are used for sex in exchange of accommodation which is critical and in exchange for food.”
    Not entirely fingering local men in this, she further added, “The women are not only abused by South Africans only, even the very same migrant man who come with them and tell them that they will protect them until they reach their destination, but as long as you going to be with me and provide me with sex then I will do that.”
    This deliberate brutality has evoked emotion which Sonke working with Thuthuzela Care Centres has decided to do something about. But according to the researcher, “The victims are always scared to report rape because they fear that they will be sent back to their country of destination as they are in the country illegally.”
    Due to this fear they fall prey to, “Experience multiply sections of rapes, which they are also vulnerable to gang rape because they will never know what time and where they are going to be where. The ones that are more targeted are young girls,” she added. To be honest most or some of the women do not know that they have the right to access to services.
    - Akhona Zibonti works for Community Media for Development.  
    Akhona Zibonti
  • SAHRC: Number of SA Schools Declines

    The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says that despite a growing school population, the number of South African schools has declined.

    In its new report, the SAHRC says that approximately 2 000 schools have been closed down between 2000 and 2012.
    SAHRC’s Carmen Abdoll, points out that most of the schools are in the Free State, and believes there is a risk that pupils in those areas are being disadvantaged.

    To read an article titled, “Number of SA schools on the decline: SAHRC,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Madonsela: SA, An Unequal Society

    Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, has described South Africa as one of the most unequal societies in the world.

    In a speech delivered at the University of Stellenbosch, Madonsela says the country is one of the most unequal society despite the constitutional promises which include the substantive notion of equality.

    "Compounding the situation is that poverty and unemployment have worsened and also the fact that, that too follows the contours of racial, gender and other forms of structural inequality or discrimination," she explained.

    To read the article titled, “SA most unequal society in the world: Madonsela,” click here.

    Times Live
  • Gauteng Tolerant to Gays - Survey

    A survey has revealed that, Gauteng residents are becoming increasingly tolerant of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, queer and other sexual orientations (LGBTIAQ).

    Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) executive director, Professor David Everatt, points out that at least 71 percent of the 27 493 respondents believed that the LGBTIAQ+ community deserved equal rights.

    In a press statement, Everatt states that, “37 percent strongly believe that homosexuality is against the values of their community while 56 percent disagree that it is…”

    To read an article titled, “Gauteng tolerant to gays: Survey,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Call for SADC States to End Rights Violations

    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch believe the Southern African Development Community (SADC) should address human rights violations among its member states as part of measures to improve the lives of its people.

    The three rights organisations draw attention to serious human rights concerns in Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe as the regional body prepares to host its 34th Summit of Heads of State and Government from 17-18 August 2014 in Zimbabwe.

    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights director, Irene Petras, states that, "SADC's commitment to human rights will come into question if Zimbabwe, as chair of the regional body, does not expedite the process of aligning its laws with the constitution and state institutions do not live up to the regional and international best practices."

    To read an article titled, “SADC - Address members' rights issues - serious concerns in several member countries,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Ban on Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law Welcomed

    The joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has welcomed the decision of Uganda's Constitutional Court to strike down a law banning the promotion of homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment.
    The anti-gay legislation was deemed null and void by the court on the technicality that it was not passed by a required parliamentary quorum.
    On the substance of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014, there was no ruling from this court that struck down the law because not enough lawmakers had been present to vote on the bill, that aside, the decision was welcomed by UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sedibe, who called it a great day for social justice and where the rule of law had prevailed.
    To read the article titled, “UNAIDS welcomes Uganda anti-gay law ban,” click here.

    SABC News
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