Women sterilised by force or coercion in SA want justice


eNCA reporter Masego Rahlaga spoke to one of the women. Viewers are advised that some of the visuals may be upsetting. Courtesy #DStv403

Warning: Viewers are advised that some of the visuals may be upsetting.

JOHANNESBURG – Women sterilised by force or coercion in South Africa’s public hospitals hope they are a step closer to justice.

They’ve welcomed the release of a report saying the act is cruel and torturous.

The report has been authored by the Commission for Gender Equality – who received complaints in 2015.

It labels sterilisation in public hospitals as inhumane and degrading.

READ: Inquiry finds pregnant HIV patients ‘sterilised without consent’

One of the sterilised woman Sphindile Mqadi, (21), claims she was sterilised at the King Edward Hospital in Durban when she was just 15.

She is not HIV positive but is one of the women who laid a complaint against the health department with the Commission for Gender Equality.

“They made me sign a consent form and I was only 15 years old. I didn’t understand anything. I just thought doctors always know what’s good for you”.

A Caesarian was performed when she gave birth to her son. But three days later – after noticing a foul smell around her – she was told her womb was septic and had to be removed.

READ: What the discovery of a new HIV strain means for the pandemic

That was on her 16th birthday.

“I don’t celebrate my birthday. It’s bad memories for me. It’s pain for me. It’s a scar, it’s a scar for life”.

Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize says he’s contacted the Commission for Gender Equality to discuss its report and find a way forward.

Since the procedure is irreversible, Sphindile says all she can do is focus on the child that she does have, and furthering her studies.

Watch the video above for more on this story

Source
eNCA