[DEBATE] : Fwd: [SSN Forum] SWAZI CHILD STERILISATION – REPLY
dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
Wed Jun 11 08:29:59 BST 2008
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Richard Rooney <swazimedia at yahoo.com>
Subject: [SSN Forum] SWAZI CHILD STERILISATION – REPLY
To: SSN <sa-swaziland-solidarity-eom-forum at googlegroups.com>
Cc: CEDAW <cedaw at skillshare.org>
(From Swazi Media Commentary 11 June 2008 www.swazimedia.blogspot.com)
SWAZI CHILD STERILISATION – REPLY
I wrote on 2 June 2008 that a representative of Skillshare
International from the UK wrote in the Times Sunday that parents of
Swazi children of 'unsound mind' should have the option to have the
children sterilised to stop them having children of their own. The
writer, Linda Kanya has emailed to respond to my comments.
Here is Kanya's reply in full. I have made a couple of comments at the
end of the email.
I am also publishing the full text of Kanya's Times Sunday article here.
Thank - you for your comments regarding the article featured in the
Sunday Times on Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights. We apologize
for the late response.
I would like to reemphasize that at the core of the CEDAW project are
the individual's human rights. Infringing on any one person's freedoms
is not the objective of the project or Skillshare International as a
whole. I do believe there was a misinterpretation of the article in
regards to women and girls of unsound mind.
I will quote the full section touching on the subject so that I may
address all your concerns.
"Women and girls of unsound mind are also touched by the laws
governing sexual health and reproductive rights, they are greatly at
risk of being taken advantage of sexually. The guardians of this
population should have the option of sterilizing their child. The
process again is a lengthy one for these parents/guardians.
Essentially, government needs to change law and policy, and thereafter
ensure that the laws are supported by proper services."
The point of the article was to discuss women's access to sexual and
reproductive health services. In this particular section I refer to
women and girls of unsound mind, specifically women with profound
mental retardation, those who have the very little intellectual or
I refer to parents or guardians of the women or girls of unsound mind
being able to access this option, with the belief that they would be
able to assess the child's ability to consent to sex; go through
pregnancy; and care for a child from birth to adulthood. The reality
is there are women and girls in this country that are profoundly
retarded and they tend to be victims of rape.
The article does not speak of compulsory or forced sterilisation. I
would like to emphasize that I was not calling for mass sterilization
of women with mental disability. Your blog entry is sensationalizing
I realize that I might have expanded on my definition of women and
girls of unsound mind and further explained why the parents should
have the option of sterilization.
Skillshare is dedicated to promoting full respect for human rights
across the world and of course does not support the forced
sterilization of women or children. It recognizes that the
responsibility for abuse in all cases remains with the perpetrators
and never, ever the victims or their families.
We appreciate your comments on our article, and hope you will continue
to read our column.
I have a couple of points. If a woman or child who is considered to be
of 'unsound mind' does not give permission to be sterilised, that is
Kanya did not respond to the point about whether Skillshare is also
advocating that what is good enough for the Swazi child is also good
enough for children who live in the UK.
CALL TO STERILISE SWAZI CHILDREN
SILENCE ON SWAZI CHILD STERILISATION
THE SWAZI STERILISATION ARTICLE
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