ICW documents coerced sterilization of HIV positive women in Namibia - report out now

The Namibia coerced sterilization project was initiated when, during an ICW advocacy workshop for young HIV positive women, 3 of the 30 participants stated that they had been sterilized. This alarming fact initiated a series of focus groups and interviews that did in fact suggest that HIV positive women were being coerced or forced into sterilization by hospital staff - 40 of the 230 women we spoke to.

“I only agreed because I had no choice but I thinking what if they find a medication one day – the possibility of having a child one day – this was going on in my mind. From that time I went through a lot of emotional confusion.” (Project participant)

The forced and coerced sterilization of positive women violate numerous rights guaranteed under the Namibian Constitution, Namibia’s obligations under International law, Namibia’s human rights obligations under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.

ICW realized that the coerced sterilization was part of a broader range of discriminations faced by HIV positive women in reproductive health services and particularly against positive women who are pregnant or desire children.

ICW is currently working with partner organizations to assist women in seeking redress for wrongs committed against them and advocate for the end of coerced sterilization in Namibia.

The International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW) is the only global network of HIV positive women. Research and fact finding conducted by ICW is principally done for and by HIV positive women.
Read more in our report of this project - now available
Contact ICW if you want further information about this project:
- Jennifer Gatsi Mallet namibia@icw.org
- Aziza Ahmed aziza@icw.org
The forced and coerced sterilization of HIV positive women in Namibia 09.pdf237.68 KB