There is lawsuit launched against the government of Namibia by 20 women accusing the government of having them "sterilized" without their consent. It appears that women who were HIV positive and went to the hospital to deliver their babies by cesarean section were also rendered infertile by a procedure known as BTL (Bilateral Tubal Litigation).
The government claims these women signed consent forms. Many of the women, most of illiterate, say they were never explained what they were signing and that they were drugged at the time, half naked on the bed, about to deliver a baby.
Regardless of people's opinion in regards to women with HIV choosing to get pregnant and have children, one can't deny that what was done to these women was a violation of their rights and total offense to their dignity as human beings .
In the Globe and Mail, Aziza Ahmed a legal expert is quoted as havnig said:
“A lot of this stems from really strange and rudimentary fears about HIV-positive women, I think people want HIV-positive women to be punished in a way. There's that attitude that blames women for the spread of the virus.”
Another woman, one of the "sterilized" ones, explains how her "consent" was obtained:
“I said, ‘What am I signing for?'“ she recalls. “They just said, ‘Just sign this and get on the bed. Shut up and sign.' So I signed.”
In a place like Namibia women who are infertile are often seen as witches who eat their children and are shunned. Women who are rendered infertile by their doctors are usually abandoned by their husbands and left to take care of their family on their own. HIV positive women are now afraid to seek medical treatment for their illness or seek medical help in delivering babies because they are afraid that they will also be "sterilized".
This practice must stop. You can't perform surgery on someone, unless it is to save their lives, without their consent. Whether you are in Africa or in Canada, it should make no difference. These women have been butchered and are now completely set apart from their communities because of their inability to have children.
Are programs like these (the ones that violate human rights) where our Africa Aid money goes to? If so, I say we ask for audit reports and follow ups, because I do not want a single dollar of my taxes going to help those who violate the body, the soul, the existence and the rights of the poorest of the poor, the HIV positive women of Africa.