AFRICA: Male circumcision as subjugation of women

Cultural beliefs that women are inferior to men are spurring the rapid spread of HIV in Swaziland and Botswana, the countries most affected by AIDS, according to a report released Monday.

Women subsequently ha[ve] no control over sexual decisions, including using a condom, and fear testing positive w[ill] jeapordise their relationships and lead to them being stigmatised and shunned by society.

African women have it hard enough. Do we really want to put more power in the hands of men than they already have? By circumcising men, Westerners, in colonial fashion, will empower and embolden them to make unjustifiable claims in the safer sex negotiating process. Male circumcision will make women more vulnerable by undermining what little negotiating leverage they are struggling to hang onto.

Read the fair use AFP story, next page.

Discrimination against women spreading AIDS: rights groups [link now dead]

Cultural beliefs that women are inferior to men are spurring the rapid spread of HIV in Swaziland and Botswana, the countries most affected by AIDS, according to a report released Monday.

The report from Physicians for Human Rights showed that women’s dependency on their male partners made them more vulnerable to the disease in the countries which had questionable human rights.

“The legal systems in both countries grant women lesser status than men, restricting property, inheritance and other rights,” reads the report.

“Neither country has met its obligations under international human rights law, as a result women continue to be disproportionately vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.”

Women subsequently had no control over sexual decisions, including using a condom, and feared testing positive would jeapordise their relationships and lead to them being stigmatised and shunned by society.

In Botswana, a country of 1.64 million people which had the highest HIV-prevalence until surpassed by Swaziland in 2004, 19 percent of community survey respondants said it was more important for a women to respect her partner than for him to respect her.

Women’s lesser status in Botswana — which has not criminalised intimate partner violence and marital rape — meant after being infected their ability to provide for themselves was even more precarious.

Interviews with HIV-positive women revealed many engaged in risky sex with men in exchange for food for themselves and their children. “Women are having sex because they are hungry. If you give them food, they would not need to have sex to eat,” said one women.

In Swaziland, the continent’s last absolute monarchy with an HIV prevalence of about 40 percent, a dual civil and customary law system denies equal rights to women.

King Mswati III practices the accepted culture of polygamy in a society which encourages multiple sexual partners for men while women are in turn blamed for spreading the virus.

“Ninety-seven percent of community survey participants held at least one gender discriminatory belief,” said the report.

Reference

Staff reports. Discrimination against women spreading AIDS: rights  groups. Agence France Presse. May 28, 2007.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070528/hl_afp/swazilandbotswanaaidswomenrights_070528135058&printer=1;_ylt=As9fhyxCZaTH9X3SQCqeHXOKOrgF

About David Wilton

Fronterizo, defense lawyer
This entry was posted in Africa and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to AFRICA: Male circumcision as subjugation of women

  1. stuart st.neal says:

    if the skin is fully retracted and cleaned underneath circumcision cannot effect HIV transmission look how AIDS has spread around USA (a country where 90% of men are circumcision victims)

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