African Human Rights Law Journal
On-line version ISSN 1609-073X
BADUL, Chantal J and STRODE, Ann. LM and Others v Government of the Republic of Namibia: The first sub-Saharan African case dealing with coerced sterilisations of HIV-positive women - Quo vadis?. Afr. hum. rights law j. [online]. 2013, vol.13, n.1, pp. 01-15. ISSN 1609-073X.
It has been argued that three factors characterise the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa - its female face; the implications it poses for sexual and reproductive health services (particularly those provided to women); and the pervasive discrimination following those who are infected. These factors also form the context within which there have been an increasing number of reports of HIV-positive women being coerced or forced into being permanently sterilised in order to prevent future pregnancies. The recent decision in LM and Others v Government of the Republic of Namibia deals with the alleged discriminatory and coerced sterilisation of three women living with HIV. This article describes and critiques the LM judgment. It concludes with brief comments on the way forward for similar litigation in other Southern African countries.