On 5 October 2009, experts from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America will speak on the issue of women being sterilized without their informed consent at the XIX World Congress of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in Cape Town, South Africa (Congress information here).
The coerced or forced sterilization of women in parts of the world as disparate as China, the Czech Republic and Namibia has been coming to the attention of human rights activists quite recently. Those targeted are frequently members of ethnic minorities, such as the Roma minority in Europe, or are otherwise socially vulnerable, as is the case of HIV+ women in Africa. Allegations stem from as recently as this year in Hungary and the year 2007 in the Czech Republic. The experts hope to discuss the issue with members of the ob-gyn profession with the aim of eradicating these violations of women’s right to autonomy over their reproductive lives.
The experts are:
- Gwendolyn Albert, Director, Women’s Initiatives Network, Peacework Development Fund (Prague, Czech Republic)
- Susana Chávez MPH, Director, Center for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights (PROMSEX) (Lima, Peru)
- Abhijit Das, Director, Center for Health and Social Justice, (New Delhi, India)
- Bernard M. Dickens LL B, LL M, Ph.D, LL D, the Dr William M. Scholl Professor of Health Law and Policy at the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, and Joint Center for Bioethics, University of Toronto, (Toronto, Canada)
- Jennifer Gatsi Mallet, International Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS, (Windhoek, Namibia)
The panel will be moderated by Prof. Peter Hornnes, President of the European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology The panel is possible thanks to the kind support of the Council of Europe and the International Women’s Program of the Open Society Institute.
Article adapted from Peacework Development Fund, Inc. 209 Otey Street, Blacksburg, Virginia 24060 USA
Released in 1, October, 2009