Stopping Forced and Coerced Sterilisation of Women Living with HIV

Aidsfonds (previously STOP AIDS NOW!) wants to stop the forced and coerced sterilisation of women with HIV, as this is one of the most flagrant violations of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Think Tank

In 2011, the collaborative Think Tank of Aidsfonds (previously STOP AIDS NOW!), ATHENA Network, AIDS Legal Network, and Namibia Women’s Health Network was organised to map emerging trends at the intersection of sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV. The Think Tank focused on the forced sterilisation of women living with HIV. In addition to being an egregious violation itself, forced sterilisation presents a starting point for a deeper analysis of the range of violations women living with HIV face when seeking sexual and reproductive health services. We want to better understand the nature of and the factors behind other violations of the sexual and reproductive health and rights in healthcare settings. Research and documentation to date suggest that where forced sterilisation occurs, other human rights violations of women living with HIV are also occurring.

The Think Tank aimed to:

  • Facilitate a dialogue across a range of strategic partners to assess the extent of rights violations in the context of sexual and reproductive health care, with a broad spectrum of African organisations and activists, particularly organisations and networks of women living with HIV;
  • Bring together the expertise of women living with HIV and other sexual and reproductive health and rights advocates involved in the documentation of and related advocacy around the forced sterilisation of women living with HIV; and
  • Share lessons learned from the documentation of and advocacy around the forced sterilisation of women living with HIV in Namibia (given the extensive advocacy experience there around the issue).

Issue brief

The results of the Think Tank were compiled in the publication ’OURSELVES. THEIR BODIES? Issue brief: Assessing efforts to halt forced and coerced sterilization of  women living with HIV’ (2012), which serves as an advocacy tool and contributes to stopping forced sterilisation. 

Read ’OURSELVES. THEIR BODIES? Issue brief: Assessing efforts to halt forced and coerced sterilization of  women living with HIV’