ESTABLISHED IN 1987

AGENDA FEMINIST MEDIA

Agenda aims to question and challenge current understandings and practices of gender relations. We contribute to the development of new knowledge about how gender relations can be transformed. In particular, we contribute to the development of women and their capacity to organize themselves, reflect on their experiences and write about this.

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About Us

Empowering Women for Gender Equity

Who We Are

Agenda Feminist Media is committed to giving women a forum, a voice and skills to articulate their needs and interests towards transforming unequal gender relations. We aim to question and challenge current understandings and practices of gender relations.

What We Do

Agenda has been at the forefront of feminist publishing in South Africa for the past 34 years. Through our flagship project, the Agenda journal, we raise debate around women’s rights and gender issues. Visit publisher Taylor & Francis Online to buy copies.

Get Involved

Agenda values participatory and transparent processes and provides opportunities for individual growth and development. We host quarterly feminist dialogues in Durban, Cape Town and Pretoria. See the bottom of this page for upcoming events near you.

IBSS/SAPSE accredited and peer reviewed

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Would you like to support our activities? All you need is a cellphone and access to WhatsApp. Sign up to become a volunteer.

Past Events

Feb 18 2021 - Online Journal Launch

6:30 pm Cultural Dialogues for Feminist Creatives: Southern Voices. Click here to view.

Nov 22 2019 - Call for Abstracts

6:30 pm Cultural Dialogues for Feminist Creatives: Southern Voices. Guest editors: Professors Dr. Lliane Loots and Ms. Ongezwa Mbele.

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Latest Articles

“Hospitals have some procedures that seem dehumanising to me”: Experiences of abortion-related obstetric violence in Brazil, Chile and Ecuador

By Sara Larrea, Mariana Prandini Assis & Camila Ochoa Mendoza

 

Abortion-related obstetric violence is an under-documented global phenomenon that seems more frequent in settings that legally restrict abortion. Seeking to document and critically assess this phenomenon, we analyse testimonies of obstetric violence shared by abortion seekers in Latin America.

Data were collected through the communication channels of Women Help Women (WHW), a feminist non-profit organisation that supports self-managed abortion where access is restricted. We conducted in-depth review of 20 cases of women from Brazil, Chile and Ecuador who reported being subjected to several forms of obstetric violence while seeking abortion and post-abortion care in formal health facilities. This obstetric violence included denial of care and failure to meet standards of care, criminalisation, gaslighting, physical violence, and discrimination.

We show how abortion-related obstetric violence is used as a means to punish and control feminised subjects that contradict social and legal mandates regarding abortion and gender. We also highlight the role of modern legal and medical systems in reproducing oppressive structures that deny people proper care.

keywords: abortion, obstetric violence, reproductive health, reproductive justice, testimonies

An analysis of obstetric violence among low-income urban women: A case study of Mabvuku Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe

By Adelaide Mufandaedza & Manase Kudzai Chiweshe

 

This article explores the everyday narratives of women’s experiences of obstetric violence in public maternity systems in Zimbabwe. It examines women’s perception and knowledge of obstetric violence, analyses the nature and prevalence of obstetric violence and evaluates the factors that influence women experiencing obstetric violence.

The study employed a qualitative research approach that sought thick descriptions and narratives from 20 women who had given birth at Mabvuku Hospital in Harare. The research found that women experience various forms of discrimination, abuse and disrespect in maternity settings. Women have largely normalised some of these experiences as everyday, accepted parts of childbearing in maternity wards.

The study highlights how age, class, and lack of power in medical contexts shape women’s experiences of obstetric violence. This is compounded by the lack of knowledge around women’s rights in medical contexts and the lack of accountability on the part of medical personnel.

We conclude that class and power are at the root of understanding how poor women often experience disrespectful and demeaning experiences in maternal care.

keywords: obstetric violence, maternal health, Harare, intersectionality, public hospitals

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