SERAJ member attends workshop on involuntary sterilisation of women as gender based violence

SERAJ member attends workshop on involuntary sterilisation of women as gender based violence

Michelle du Toit with Linda Nyati from the Commission for Gender Equality

On Monday 7th August, Michelle du Toit attended a workshop hosted by the Dullha Omar Institute on the involuntary sterlisation of women as gender based violence. The workshop was divided into three panel disucussions, where each panel member also presented on an aspect of the topic.

The day started by looking at the issue from a legal and human rights perspective. Various rights are implicated in this issue, particularly reproductive rights, equality and the right to freedom and security of the person. Sheena Swemmer from the Centre for Applied Legal Studies elaborated on the power imbalances between doctors and patients when it comes to consent. This facilitated discussion and laid the ground for the next panel consisting of medical practitioners to give us their perspective on the issue. Dr David Hall from the Faculty of Medicine at Stellenbosch University elaborated on the ethics concerning the issue and left us with the idea that “consent is a process not an event”. The afternoon concluded with a presentation from Linda Nyati from the Comission for Gender Equality who provided insight into an on-going investigation on the involuntary sterilisation of women. The day was engaging and very well timed in light of women’s day on the 9th of August.

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