COVID-19: How more access to the internet can reduce existing barriers for women’s rights in AfricaPosted: 4 May, 2020 Filed under: Nelly Warega, Tomiwa Ilori | Tags: Access to Information, access to information online, Africa, civil society organisations, coronavirus, COVID-19, CSOs, digital platforms, digital skills, domestic violence, health services, inequalities, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, internet access, Kenya, Lagos State Government Health Service Commission, lockdown, mainstream media, maternal health, maternal mortality, Mozambique, Nigeria, pandemic, PPE, PPEs, smart phones, South Africa, Uganda, women's rights Leave a comment
Authors: Nelly Warega* and Tomiwa Ilori**
*Legal Advisor, Women’s Link Worldwide
**Doctoral researcher, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
On 17 April 2020, a Twitter user tweeted about a hospital in Lagos that demanded personal protective equipment (PPE) from a woman seeking to give birth at the facility. The incident, according to the user happened at the General Hospital, Ikorodu, under the Lagos State Government Health Service Commission. The PPEs have become important for health workers given the surge in transmission COVID-19 across the world. However, despite the rising demand and scarcity of PPEs, a conversation on the propriety of placing the burden of procurement of PPEs on expectant mothers is vital.
Uganda: Why the Constitutional Court should rule on the right to healthPosted: 3 June, 2016 Filed under: Michael Addaney | Tags: African Court of Justice and Human Rights, anemia, child birth, constitution, Constitutional Court of Uganda, diabetes, doctrine of political question, duty to fulfil, duty to respect, government health facilities, hepatitis, Kenya, malaria, maternal health, maternal mortality, obligation to protect, public health, South Africa, Supreme Court, Uganda, universal human rights 2 Comments
Author: Michael Addaney
Senior Research Assistant, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana
A case currently before the Constitutional Court of Uganda is providing an interesting test for how far courts can go in protecting basic human rights. Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings. Every person is equally entitled to them without discrimination. They are interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
Universal human rights are often guaranteed by law through treaties and various sources of international law which generally oblige governments to respect, protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.
Apart from international obligations, countries have various ways of entrenching human rights. Most contemporary constitutions entrench basic human rights. Such constitutions include the 1996 Constitution of South Africa and the 2010 Kenyan Constitution. Likewise, the 1995 Constitution of Uganda contains the Bill of Rights that guarantees fundamental freedoms and basic rights including the rights to health and to life.
No woman should die while giving life: Maternal mortality – the unfinished business of the MDG eraPosted: 21 July, 2015 Filed under: Dunia Mekonnen Tegegn | Tags: abortion, access to education, Beijing Platform of Action, birth, CEDAW, childbearing, death, discrimination, family, family planning, fertility, health, marriage, maternal death, maternal health, maternal mortality, pregnancy, right to life, sexual and reproductive health rights, women's rights 2 Comments
Author: Dunia Mekonnen Tegegn
Human rights lawyer, Ethiopia
Maternal mortality is one of the shocking failures of development and a dreadful social injustice. According to recent UN official figures, 536,000 women die every year during pregnancy and birth. This is one death every minute. Out of the 536,000 maternal deaths, 99% are experienced by women in developing countries. The highest maternal mortality rates are in Africa; with a lifetime risk of 1 in 16. Maternal death is often the result of policy decisions that directly or indirectly discriminate against women. Maternal death is also often an indication of inequalities between men and women in their enjoyment of the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Below I illustrate how other rights are either implicated by or essential in combating maternal mortality.
Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation in Eritrea?Posted: 6 February, 2015 Filed under: Thato Motaung | Tags: circumcision, discrimination against women and girls, eradication of fgm, Eritrea, external female genitalia, female genital mutilation, fgm, FGM/C, infubulation, International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, maternal health, sexual and reproductive health rights, women's human rights, women's rights Leave a comment
Author: Thato Motaung
Researcher, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation: 6 February 2015
February 6 – the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation – is dedicated annually to making the world aware of the harmful effects of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) and to promote its eradication. FGM/C involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia; a deep form of discrimination against women and girls, it directly violates their right to health, and physical integrity. The practice is rooted in cultural and religious beliefs of communities who perceive it as a social obligation to control female sexuality and ‘preserve or protect’ a woman’s chastity.
The most common form of FGM/C in Eritrea is ‘infubulation’. During the procedure, the child’s legs and hips are tied together to limit movement – often for several weeks afterward to allow healing. The age for circumcising of a girl varies amongst cultural groups, but can range from one month old to 15 years. A traditional circumciser commonly performs the act within communities; close relatives or neighbours can also act as circumcisers.