News & events


Coming of age? Women’s sexual and reproductive health and their gendered implications after twenty-one years of democracy in South Africa

28 July 2016
12:30 - 13:30

Date:     28 July 2016
Time:     12:30  – 13:30
Venues:     Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town

Professor Diane Cooper
School of Public  Health, University of Western Cape

From 1994, democratic South Africa introduced some of the most progressive gender related sexual and reproductive health (SRH) laws and policies in the world. This presentation, a sequel to a review conducted in2004, focuses on key SRH areas: contraception, abortion, maternal health, HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections, cervical cancer and gender-based violence.

Specific improvements in SRH include a decrease in unsafe abortion AIDS-related mortality and vertical HIV transmission and the Introduction of an HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. South Africa’s provision of the world’s largest HIV antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme, provides a positive example for wider global SRH and women’s rights initiatives. However, implementation of SRH laws and policies are hampered by inadequacies in the public health system and in addressing the social determinants of health, particularly gender factors. Growing global socio-economic inequity over the past 30 years, has negatively impacted on SRH everywhere and persistent socio-economic and gender inequity in South Africa continues to profoundly affect women’s SRH. Some recommendations
for advancing women’s SRH over the next  decade are made.

Particularly important are practical implementation and social efforts
to address gendered barriers to women’s sexual and reproductive
well-being, especially among young women.

HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein  as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

Kindly RSVP by 27 July 2016

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Carmen August ,Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299 or e-mail:

Durban :  The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: