COVID-19 and the access to information conundrum in AfricaPosted: 10 April, 2020 Filed under: Hlengiwe Dube | Tags: Access to Information, barriers, corona virus, COVID-19, data costs, Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, digital divide, disabilities, flatten the curve, girls, indigenous communities, information accessibility, internet, internet access, internet taxation, lockdowns, Model Law on Access to Inofmration in Africa, nationwide crisis management, older persons, Open Government Partnership, pandemic, PWD, right to health, South Africa, women, Zimbabwe 1 Comment
Author: Hlengiwe Dube
Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
As the world grapples with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the disease caused by the novel Corona-virus, Africa has not been spared. Although the rate of infection is still lower than the rest of the world, it is rising steadily. Governments across the world have initiated partial or nationwide crisis management measures including curfews, lockdowns, contact tracing, surveillance and testing to curb the spread of the virus, which has been coined as measures to ‘flatten the curve’. For these government-initiated emergency measures to be effective in curbing the spread of the virus, the public must comply with the government regulations. Access to information becomes very essential for the realisation of this objective and by extension other equally essential goals such as achieving the human right to health.
Violence against women and girls in Africa: A global concern to ponder on International Women’s Day and beyondPosted: 8 March, 2018 Filed under: Kennedy Kariseb | Tags: Africa, conflict, education, empowerment, feminism, girls, human rights, international human rights, international law, International Women's Day, IWD, IWD2018, pandemic, sexual violence, SRVAW, treaty, UN, United Nations, VAW, violence, violence against women, women, women's human rights, women's rights, women's rights movement 2 Comments
Author: Kennedy Kariseb
Doctoral candidate, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
It has been four decades since the United Nations (UN) observed for the first time International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March 1975. Although there are traces of celebration of this day, dating as far back as 1909, its formal initiation came in the wake of the first World Conference of the International Women’s Year that took place in Mexico City, Mexico. Its object, as aptly argued by Temma Kaplan, is to mark ‘the occasion for a new sense of female consciousness and a new sense of feminist internationalism’.[i]
In a sense, 8 March is meant to be a day of both celebration and reflection for women the world over: a celebration of the gains made in enhancing women’s rights and the overall status of women globally, while reflecting and strategising on the voids and shortcomings still persistent in the women’s rights discourse. The occasion of the forty-third celebration of the IWD clearly marks an opportunity for feminist introspection on the broader question of violence against Women (VAW) and its regulation under international law. This is because while VAW is not the only form of human rights abuse women suffer, it is one in which the gendered aspect of such abuse is often the most clear and pervasive.
Female genital mutilation in South AfricaPosted: 7 June, 2012 Filed under: Barbara Kitui | Tags: childbirth, female genital mutilation, fgm, girls, harmful traditional practices, initiation, legislation, muthuso, postnatal care, South Africa, WHO, women, World Health Organisation 78 Comments
Author: Barbara Kitui
LLM (Human Rights & Democartisation in Africa) student, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is one of the cultural practises embedded amongst the Venda community of north-east of South Africa. Eight weeks or less after childbirth, Venda women undergo a traditional ceremony called muthuso. Muthuso is a process of cutting the vaginal flesh of the mother by a traditional healer. The flesh is mixed with black powder and oil and applied on the child’s head to prevent goni. Goni has been described as a swelling on the back of a child’s head. The Venda people believe that goni can only be cured using the vaginal flesh of the child’s mother. Women who experienced FGM stated that they bleed excessively after the ceremony. Moreover, the women stated that there is no postnatal care in Venda. Consequently, the women use traditional medicine and sometimes this leads to death because of substandard treatment.