The Politics of Women’s Health in South Africa

Date: February 12, 2015
  • SHARE:

There are several interrelated crises in women’s health in contemporary South Africa. Since the 1990s, HIV/AIDS has been considered foremost among these and it has posed a demographic, health, social and cultural catastrophe for South African women. HIV has become the leading cause of maternal mortality in South Africa, according to the government’s own statistics (Ramogale et al, 2007). Women’s social and health statuses are also being blighted by the high rates of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in the country. A recent global perception poll of the ‘best and worst’ group of 20 countries for women canvassed the views of 370 gender experts from five continents (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 2012b). South Africa was ranked 16th out of the group of 20 countries, right above Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and India, because it has ”Some of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence in the world, a blight on a country where women are well represented in politics” (Thomson Reuter Foundation, 2012b). This concern has been echoed by Interpol which recently dubbed South Africa ‘the world’s rape capital’, where a woman is sexually assaulted every 17 seconds (SABC, ‘South Africa world’s rape capital: Interpol’, 19 May 2012). In this Agenda special issue we have gathered pieces from an emerging literature on issues related to the politics of women’s health in post-Mbeki-era South Africa. In our call for papers, we indicated our desire to provide a forum to deepen and widen scholarly and activist conversations on women’s health issues in this country: we wanted to find papers which would provide fresh analyses in relation to well documented issues such as maternal mortality and domestic violence and also bring to the fore new work on under-examined issues such as cervical cancer and coercive sterilisation, especially

Publisher: Agenda
Year of Publication: 2012

Comment on The Politics of Women’s Health in South Africa

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *