South Africa: Plight of Women Who Use Drugs Laid Bare

analysis

Factoring in the already-patriarchal perceptions of women in South Africa, and combined with drug use, female drug users are not only classed as invisible, but are also seen as unfit members of society, and treated as such.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has compiled a needs assessment report of women who use drugs (WWUD) in four cities in South Africa - Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. The report highlights the plight of women who use drugs and how they actively seek to take charge of their lives.

More often than not, women are viewed as victims of drug use, but the narratives in this report reveal women claiming back their autonomy while communicating their lived experiences.

The report shows that women who use drugs suffer many human rights abuses. Some of the participants in the study were subject to extreme levels of sexual violence and sexual rights violations.

Furthermore, they experience high levels of stigma from service providers, leading to a denial of access to health services. Another phenomenon is the physical violence and aggression during law enforcement and security raids and forced removals, as well as sexual favours demanded by law enforcement agencies. Issues...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.