South Africa

Thoko-Mpumlwana Mbuyiselo Botha

Country Summary:

Board Members Thoko Mpumlwana
When registered 2011
Alliance Focal Network South African women in Dialogue (SAWID)
Government COEs 20 View the Centres of Excellence
Media COEs 15
Key partners South African women in Dialogue (SAWID)

Read more in the South Africa report.

South Africa Strategy 2016 – 2020

‘Offensive’ billboard creates a stir

This article based on a Teazers club billboard deemed offensive by a cross section of people in South Africa’s Johannesburg City. The billboard shows a woman with super sized breasts lying on her back, with knees bent and one hand covering her breasts. The words no need for gender testing a written across the billboard.

Do HIV positive people combining ARVs with immune boosters, traditional herbal medicines or vitamins experience viral resistance and treatment failure than those taking ARVs only?

HIV and AIDS is one of the main challenges facing South Africa today. It is estimated that of the 39.5 million people living with HIV worldwide in 2006, and that more than 63% are from sub-Saharan Africa. About 5.54 million people are estimated to be living with HIV in South Africa in 2005, with 18.8% of the adult population (15-49) affected. Women are disproportionately affected; accounting for approximately 55% of HIV positive people. Women in the age group 25-29 are the worst affected with prevalence rates of up to 40%. For men the peak is reached at older ages, with an estimated 10% prevalence among men older than 50 years. HIV prevalence among younger women <20 years seems to be stabilizing, at about 16% for the past three years.À–(HIV/AIDS AND STI Strategic Plan for South Africa for 2007-2011) The South African Strategic plan is to reduce morbidity and mortality by providing treatment and care and support to 80 % of those infected by 2011. With the Sub Saharan region faced with lots of challenges namely À“ migration which is presumed to increase the spread of the disease stigmatisation which still prohibits the voluntary testing leading to late discovery of those infected Lack of proper leadership by the various states in the Sub Saharan regionÀ“ which delays the proper rollout of ARVS , It seems as if this plan is easier said than done. People from this region have always believed in alternative medicines like traditional medicines, medicinal herbs and would start at that route first before using antiretroviral drugs or might even combine them. My interest in this study is to see the uptake of these alternative medicines whilst using antiretroviral therapy and what effect is displayed in the users.

November 13, 2009 Themes: Culture and Tradition | Health | HIV/AIDS

Experiences of Graduation or termination from a girls Youth Community Project

The study attempted to gain insight into the behavioural response to termination/ graduation of a group of ten female graduates from a community intervention programme. The participants, aged between eleven and fourteen years and predominantly from low socio-economic backgrounds, attended the Usiko Girls Youth Community Programme. The eighteen month programme aimed to facilitate their transition from girlhood to womanhood. To this end, the program was conceptualized as having various components including, but not limited to, Initiation, Life skills training, Cultural activities, Camps, and graduation. After the graduation ceremony, which culminated in the termination of the programme for these participants, they returned to the programme, stating different reasons for doing so. A single group, post-test design, utilizing a structured interview was employed with the main focus being the graduation and termination component, to help understand this phenomenon. Thematic analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Results suggest that the participant’s identification with the programme made it difficult for some to terminate.

The impossibility of ideal motherhood: The psychological experiences and discourse on motherhood amongst South African low-income coloured mothers specifically in the Kylemore community

This study aimed to determine whether there is a dominant discourse on motherhood in one semi-rural, low-income, Coloured community. It investigated the personal and individual meanings that this group of mothers attach to motherhood, and what they regard to be “goodÀ or “badÀ mothering practices. In exploring discourses the study also aimed at describing the prevailing values, assumptions, ideas, rules, fantasies and dreams concerning motherhood that prevail in the Kylemore community. The present study used data from a research project entitled the “Maternal Mental Health ProjectÀ (MMHP). The MMHP focuses on the psychological distress and resilience of low-income mothers residing in the community of Kylemore. The main focus of this larger study was extensive open-ended interviews with the women concerning their pregnancies, birth and motherhood experiences. All women reporting at the Kylemore clinic for prenatal and antenatal visits were recruited. These women were interviewed at four different points in time by the same interviewer, focusing on women’s experience of pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. Approximately 90 women were interviewed (360 one-hour interviews) over a period of four years. Based on feminist social constructionist ideas, the current study utilised qualitative methodologies. The interviews were transcribed and then analysed according to social constructionist grounded theory. The main categories that emerged during coding revolved around what participants considered to be “goodÀ or “badÀ mothering practices. The findings clearly indicated that mothers in this community are able to both recognise and define desirable and undesirable practices of motherhood. The themes pertaining to “goodÀ mothering focused around two central concepts: the contextual factors which determine good motherhood; and the qualities evident in a good mother. A “badÀ mother was seen to be someone who was unconcerned about taking responsibility for her child, leaving this responsibility for others to fulfil. It is suggested that for many of these women, their aspirations of ideal motherhood are unrealistic and unattainable due to the social and economic circumstances in which they live. Women are thus effectively set up for failure, due to a discourse of “perfectÀ motherhood that seems impossible to achieve in these circumstances. This is exacerbated by the fact that “goodÀ mothering and “badÀ mothering are considered to be discrete and dichotomous categories, with no possible overlap between the two categories. It is suggested that psychologists working with low-income mothers should be involved in discussions about more realistic and less rigid discourses of motherhood, discourses that take contextual factors into account.

Pregnant women’s attitudes towards the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme

This research paper has been developed in order to find the reasons for negative attitudes towards the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) Programme by pregnant women. Although the advantages for PMTCT Programme are clear on the HIV Positive women; there are still very few pregnant women who enrol to the programme. The benefits for the Programme include the treatment of opportunistic infections, antiretroviral treatment such as nevirapine which benefits the mother and the baby, psychological support and the prevention of mother- to- child transmission of HIV infection. Most Ante Natal Care (ANC) clinics offer Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and PMTCT Programmes but enrolment to these programmes remains poor, the reasons for such poor enrolment being not known. Health organizations need to work very hard towards ensuring that most or all pregnant women know their HIV status in order to decrease the number of babies that are born HIV positive. This study was conducted at Thabani Magwaza (Hambanathi) Clinic which is situated at Hambanathi Township (next to Tongaat) in the Province of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. The information was obtained voluntarily from the ANC clients who attend the service at Hambanathi Clinic. The focus was on 30 women, 15 who are 15 to 20 years old and 15 who are 21 to 25 years old. The data was gathered through the use of interview schedules. The data gathered was about personal details, health care workers, baby’s financial support, understanding of PMTCT, feeding options, family planning, HIV/AIDS, attitude of the client, client’s support from the community and characteristics. The information gathered was compared and analyzed. The data analysis has shown that poor literacy, poverty and poor support from the communities are the reasons for negative attitudes towards PMTCT Programme.

HIV/AIDS and impoverishment: a study in Mpumalanga Province in South Africa

The challenges brought by HIV/AIDS across the world have created a strong divisions and inequalities between employers and employee, young and adults, men and women , black and white, employees and employees, teachers and students and also employers themselves. It has changed the shape of the world. Poverty too, has taken its course. The usage of condoms as a preventive measure against the contracting of STDÀŸs is undermined by young generations. Children become orphans due to the outcome of HIV/AIDS. Young children left school early for farm labourers due to poverty dimensions. Siblings are family headed because parents died and relatives are not willing to care for them. Food insecurity becomes a challenge among the infected and affected poor household. Is it HIV/AIDS or poverty that has changed the world forms? The cause for all the consequences remains rhetorical. Sub-Saharan is declared as highest country with PLWHA and in poverty. This paper examined how the poor communities cope under the umbrella of the HIV/AIDS and Poverty world. The paper also provides suggestions that programmes and policies on anti-poverty be developed. Project such as home based care for PLWHA from poor communities who cannot afford for caring should be instituted as one remedy to keep girls at schools than to care for the sick household members. Educating girls will a tool to minimize the spreadof HIV/AIDS they will know about their rights.

South Africa: women soar to new heights, but is gender equality in any closer?

South African elections on 22 April significantly increased the numbers of women in Parliament. It is evident that women played a leading role in the nation’s elections, including comprising 55% of voters. Yet, entrenching a culture of gender equality must go beyond the numbers, so that South Africa is able to meet all targets set in the Protocol on Gender and Development by 2015.

Reassessing political parties women’s wings

One cannot ignore the important role that women play in politics. At least most political parties acknowledge the role that women play in political sustainability; so much that they have women’s wings or women’s assemblies for the party. Among the several roles of the women’s wings is mainstreaming gender in party policies, plans and programmes, with the longer-term objective of narrowing the wide gender gaps that currently exist in social, cultural, economic and political spheres. However, looking at examples from South Africa and Zimbabwe, it is clear that there is a need to reassess women’s wings of political parties.

Open letter to JZ on women’s rights

As I write this letter to you, I am looking at the invitation to your inauguration on Saturday 9 May. I must say that I have never felt so ambivalent before about being invited to an event at the Union Buildings. Maybe I am just shocked that I even made it onto the guest list. I would not rank up there with Jonathan Shapiro (or Zapiro) as one of your most prominent detractors (I see the shower head is to remain in his cartoons..) but I certainly have been a vocal critic.

New political party putting “Women Forward”

A new women’s party has entered the fray of South African politics, hoping to give a voice to the nation’s women. Using next Wednesday’s election as a trial run for local government elections down the line, they may not be in it to win it, but they are providing a much needed platform for issues some say have been left off national agendas for far too long.

South Africa


Country ManagerMariatu Fonnah
Phone+27(0)11 029 0006/ +27(0)11 028 2410
Address9 Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene, Johannesburg, 2198, South Africa