The Right to Access to Reproductive Health Care in the South African Constitution: A Real Victory for Women?

  • Loretta Feris
Part of the Comparative Feminist Studies book series (CFS)


Many years into South Africa’s constitutional transition and with the second democratic government newly in place, it is maybe an opportune time to assess the victories gained and the challenges that still lie ahead. For women there have been significant successes in South Africa. Whereas the majority of South African women were previously disenfranchised, they now have at least 25 percent representation in parliament with eight cabinet ministers and eight deputy Cabinet ministers that are women.1 South Africa has a supreme Constitution with a justiciable Bill of Rights that offers civil and political as well as social and economic guarantees. The Constitution also makes provision for a Commission for Gender Equality to promote the achievement of gender equality.2 South Africa ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).3 Women in abusive relationships were recently afforded additional legal protection when amended legislation on domestic violence was accepted in Parliament.4 Pregnant women are provided with free health care and those who choose to terminate their pregnancy may now freely exercise this choice.5


Reproductive Health Reproductive Health Service South African Journal Reproductive Health Care South African Woman 
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Copyright information

© Obioma Nnaemeka and Joy Ngozi Ezeilo 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loretta Feris

There are no affiliations available

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