Apartheid and Health Professional Accountability: Violations of the Reproductive Rights of Women

  • Jeanelle de Gruchy
  • Laurel Baldwin-Ragaven
Part of the Comparative Feminist Studies book series (CFS)


Examining the work of scientists and health professionals during colonial and apartheid South Africa reveals complex interconnections between science, gender, “race,”1 and nation-building. We explore the complicity of health professionals in the abuse of the reproductive rights of South African women through participation in a system that constructed women primarily as reproductive bodies and manipulated their reproduction for oppressive political purposes. If a culture of respect for human rights is to supplant one of complicity with abuse, this history must first be acknowledged, accountability accepted, and systematic mechanisms put in place to address training, monitoring for human rights abuses and transformation in institutions and organizations. While challenging and perhaps time-consuming to tackle issues of the past, it is imperative to undertake such critical self-study so that current attempts to transform health services in post-apartheid South Africa will be successful.


Family Planning Black Woman Black Population Family Planning Program Population Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Obioma Nnaemeka and Joy Ngozi Ezeilo 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanelle de Gruchy
  • Laurel Baldwin-Ragaven

There are no affiliations available

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