Featured Articles

The Unfinished Cairo Agenda: Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health for All


The Unfinished Cairo Agenda: Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health for All
The international community faces a historic opportunity. Nearly 20 years ago, in 1994, 179 nations committed to protect the reproductive health and rights of women and girls at the landmark UN International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo. Twenty years later, a major UN review of progress toward those commitments gives us the chance to ask, "Has life really changed for women and girls?"

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Has the LGBT Movement Failed in Uganda?


Has the LGBT Movement Failed in Uganda?
The author of this opinion article argues that rather than continuing to operate on an exclusive basis, the LGBT movement in Uganda should strive to nurture a multivariate movement for social justice, creating a multi-normative society for their safety and the peaceful coexistence of future generations. full article

Speaking Out Against Child Marriage


Speaking Out Against Child Marriage: “We Can End Child Marriage, and We Can End it in a Generation”
Around the world today, approximately 400 million women were married as children. This practice is particularly prevalent in certain parts of Africa. Child marriage has been missing from international development agendas. The time is ripe for that to change. full article

Homosexuality and the Great African Identity Heist


Protecting Sexual Diversity
A central task of the human rights movement has always been to challenge traditional and even sincerely held attitudes and customs when they entail the direct infliction of harm, suffering or discrimination upon others. And although many different minorities have benefited, this protection has not been easily extended to sexual minorities.

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Homosexuality and the Great African Identity Heist


Homosexuality and the Great African Identity Heist
What does it mean to be an African? What is traditional African culture? Does it really condemn homosexuality, though it exists throughout Africa? And if it doesn’t, why are certain individuals and institutions clamouring for legislation against homosexuality? full article

215 Million Women Still Have Unmet Need For Family Planning


215 Million Women Still Have Unmet Need For Family Planning
In 1994, the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt, recognized reproductive health and family planning as fundamental human rights. Delegates committed to making voluntary family planning services universally available by 2015. Now just three years from that deadline, at least 215 million women want to prevent or delay pregnancy but are not using effective contraception. full article

Aid, Resistance and Queer Power


Aid, Resistance and Queer Power
LGBTIQ Africans are currently at the crux of an ever-increasing conservative (dare I say fascist) assault perpetuated primarily by the ruling elites in collusion, and often financed by, global right wing forces using the apparatus of the state and institutions such as the Church. full article

What Way Forward For African Protocol For Women's Rights?


What Way Forward For African Protocol For Women's Rights?
Ending gender-based violence will mean changing cultural concepts about masculinity. This includes recognition of the importance of active engagement of men and women at all levels, whether they are policy makers, parents, spouses or young boys and girls. full article

Why the Africa UNiTE Campaign?


Why the Africa UNiTE Campaign?
The Africa UNiTE Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls aims to create a favorable and supportive environment for governments, in partnership with civil society experts, to be able to fulfill existing policy commitments. full article

Peers, Porn and Boys: Communication and Learning of Sexuality in South Africa


Peers, Porn and Boys: Communication and Learning of Sexuality in South Africa
Listening to young boys talk about sex and sexuality raises the interesting question of how and where they obtain their information.  While many studies have noted that peers are a primary source of information on sex and commented on the dangers of this in terms of communicating incorrect information, there is also concern about the lack of information about sex or the appropriate source of information about, which may generate unhealthy outcomes. full article


Institutionalized Stigma in Ghana
Abortion has been legal in Ghana under a wide range of circumstances - including to protect a woman's mental health - since 1985, making it one of the most progressive laws in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet unsafe abortion still contributes to nearly one-third of maternal deaths. Access is chronically denied, and knowledge of the abortion law among women and health-care providers alike is scant. In Ghana, the issue of abortion is taboo. In the silence surrounding it, misinformation and stigma thrive. full article


A Pastor's Daughter
Emily's nightmare began in February 2011 when her father, who was at the time undertaking a forty day fast, told her that he had seen in a vision, a revelation that his daughter had been fornicating and that she had fallen pregnant. Emily was quite shocked at that statement by her father and denied his allegations. Surprisingly he approached her the following day, insisting he'd had the same revelation again. He then dragged her to the University Teaching Hospital, Zambia's largest hospital, for a pregnancy test. full article


Nigeria: Let The Debate on Reproductive Health Continue
In the past couple of years, there has been increased media attention in concerning reproductive health and rights in general and abortion in particular. Prior to this development, media reports on issues concerning reproductive health, especially, abortion were mainly sensational which contributed to the stigmatization of women who terminated pregnancies. full article

Zimbabwe: The slang of sexual networks


Zimbabwe: The Slang of Sexual Networks
Risky sexual behaviour has a language of its own on the University of Zimbabwe's (UZ) campus in the capital, Harare. When female students arrive, they join an informal sorority known as the "university spinster association", or USA, while their male counterparts are inducted into the "university bachelor association", or UBA. full article

Benin-Nigeria: Learning English to enter the sex industry


Benin-Nigeria: Learning English to Enter the Sex Industry
Many young people in French-speaking Benin are learning English to adapt to globalization, but some young women have another goal: to enter the thriving sex industry in neighboring Nigeria , where the market is considered full article lucrative. full article

Real men don't cry – or do they?


Real Men Don't Cry – Or Do They?
Men don't cry. Men take risks. Men don't ask for help. Men are strong. Men have many sexual partners. These stereotypes of masculinity are contributing to the spread of HIV throughout the world, experts warned at a recent symposium on men and boys. full article

Sexuality Education Approaches: What Would Be Applicable to North of Africa and Middle East?


Sexuality Education Approaches: What Would Be Applicable to North of Africa and Middle East?
In this paper, Middle East and North of Africa are not presented from demographic dimension, rather from cultural one, where the most dominant religion is Islam. Consequently, the paper will discuss applicability of sex education approaches from Islamic perspectives but within the Middle East and North of Africa context. full article

Masculinities, Maleness And Illusive Pleasure


Masculinities, Maleness And Illusive Pleasure
A consideration of the relationship between masculinities, maleness and pleasure (or lack thereof), reveals three things. A Social Power gap i.e. Male sexual pleasure is influenced by dominance motivation, Female subjection to male pleasure i.e. where the ruling form of masculinity supports the idea of females being subjected to males , there is also support of female sexuality and pleasure to be subservient to male sexual pleasure, Tyranny i.e. Focus on intimacy happiness shows that exclusive attention on attaining sexual; pleasure can be tyrannical full article. full article


Doing Research on Sexuality in Africa: Ethical Dilemmas and the Positioning of the Researcher
The process of knowledge production involves a series of steps and is influenced by several factors which impact upon the end result of the research in various ways. When the topic of research is sexuality such conditions and influences become surrounded by a greater number of implications, some with far-reaching consequences. full article


Sexual Revelations of Male Inmates: Negotiating Sexual Experiences within the Confines of a Prison
Since 2004, the Themba HIV & AIDS Organisation (a non-profit public benefit organisation in South Africa) has been working in prisons. This work has involved equipping peer educators, all inmates, with the skills and knowledge necessary to educate other inmates about HIV, AIDS, sexually transmitted illnesses, Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT), relationships, and dominant cultural norms and traditions which pressurise people into risky sexual behaviours. full article


Body Images, Beauty Culture and Language in the Nigeria, African Context
A presentation made at the 2007 Understanding Human Sexuality Seminar, the paper examines perceptions of body and beauty in traditional and contemporary Nigeria African context as reflected in the relevant language and literature and against the background of Western perceptions and formulations. full article


Femininity, Sexuality and Culture: Patriarchy and Female Subordination in Zimbabwe
This paper discusses how patriarchy is bred through socialization in the home and the society, and the how these practices lead to control of female sexuality. The paper argues that patriarchy leads to gender inequality and subordination of women to the extent that females do not have control over their sexuality. full article

Sexuality, African religio-cultural traditions and modernity: expanding the lens


HIV-positive and Bringing Sexy Back
People tend to think that contracting HIV can spell the end of their sex lives, but HIV-positive Africans of all ages are now being urged to reclaim their sexuality and live healthy, normal lives. "I got this [HIV] through sex, so [I thought] my sexuality was gone and I felt I needed to stop dressing attractively and wait to die," Florence Anam , 28, an information officer at the Kenya Network of Women with AIDS, told IRIN/PlusNews. full article

Regaining Control: Realising Women's Rights to Control Their Own Sexuality, Well-being and Reproductive Health in Africa
These commitments provide a comprehensive package for addressing the challenges of maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, violence and disease. However, the urgent action needed to address what African Governments have described as a “continental state of emergency” can only be achieved by ensuring firm policy and programme linkages between Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence. full article

Sexuality, African religio-cultural traditions and modernity: expanding the lens


Sexuality, African Religio-cultural Traditions and Modernity: Expanding the Lens
This essay takes a critical look at the normative as well as counter normative alternatives to sexuality both in Africa and in other cultures as they relate to gender concepts and practices that address the problem of inequality and state patriarchy.
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Engendering Sexuality: Human Rights Issues in Reproductive and Sexual Health
Until quite recently most Africans, especially in the sub Saharan region, considered reproductive and sexual rights as issues for discussion only by 'queers' and liberal feminist groups. full article

Gender and the political economy of sex tourism in Kenya's coastal resorts


Gender and the Political Economy of Sex Tourism in Kenya's Coastal Resorts
This paper discusses gender and the political economy of sex tourism on the Kenyan coast, its health and socioeconomic impact, and the government's policy on sex work. full article

Muslims' perspectives on key reproductive and sexual health issues


Muslims’ Perspectives on Key Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues
Reproductive health strategies are built around a core belief that women as full, thinking, feeling personalities, shaped by the particular social, economic, and cultural conditions in which each of them lives, are central to their own reproduction.full article

Contradictions in constructions of African masculinities


Contradictions in Constructions of African Masculinities
Rather than the yearned for comforts, the advent of a democratic dispensation in South Africa has thrown up many uncomfortable questions. Focusing on the sex/sexuality/gender of African males is a deliberate move of disturbing the taken-for-granted nature of African-ness, and of such objects as ' African culture', 'African masculinity', 'African womanhood' and 'African sexuality'. full article



Silence, AIDS and Sexual Culture in Africa
There is a mystery at the heart of the AIDS epidemic in Africa that scholars have explored but have been unable to explain. The mystery has to do with the denial that has consistently characterised the AIDS pandemic in Africa. The silence has to do with that much used and abused, dearly beloved sacred cow called culture. full article

Sexuality: you must start with yourself


Sexuality: You Must Start With Yourself
Sexuality: a very loaded word. Seemingly, a very personal matter, yet, in many ways it defines and dictates much of what goes on in society. Thinking about sexuality inevitably starts from the subjective before it moves to the objective, so to understand how and why we all deal with sexuality we must start with ourselves.full article

Research and capacity-building for the promotion of sexual health and well-being in the West Africa region


Research and Capacity-building for the Promotion of Sexual Health and Well-being in the West Africa Region
Despite three decades of capacity building, there is still little research on the health problems of the poor. This is even full article acute regarding sexual health of people in West Africa. Research is essential in improving the status of sexual health in any community. full article

Sex work and the politics of researching gender and culture


Sex Work and the Politics of Researching Gender and Culture
Sex work, a critical subject in advancing knowledge on gender and work, has a troubled position in the African academy. In 2000, at the center for Basic Research in Uganda, we sat as a scientific committee to select abstracts submitted by 160 prospective researchers in the Eastern and Southern African region on the subject of gender and work. There was not one single abstract on sex work. So I asked the committee, "What about sex work?" full article

Demography, sexuality and sexual behavior research in Nigeria


Demography, Sexuality and Sexual Behavior Research in Nigeria
When HIV was first reported in1967, there was very little concern that the disease will spread to Nigeria. Nevertheless, there have been apprehensions about the incidence and prevalence of sexually transmitted disease long before the advent of HIV/AIDS. full article

When culture harms the girls - the globalisation of female genital mutilation


When Culture Harms the Girls - The Globalisation of Female Genital Mutilation
Among communities that practise FGM, the procedure is a highly valued ritual, whose purpose is to mark the transition from childhood to womanhood. In these traditional societies, FGM represents part of the rites of passage or initiation ceremonies intended to impart the skills and information a woman will need to fulfil her duties as a wife and mother. full article

Decisions regarding harmful practices and the role of husbands


Decisions Regarding Harmful Practices and the Role of Husbands
This paper examines the role of husbands in decisions related to some of the harmful practices that influence the reproductive health and quality of life of women in Egypt. The paper focuses on two main practices, the female genital cutting and the traditional hand defloration at the time of wedding. full article