Kristin A. Fleschner
2004 -2005Vanderbilt Traveling Fellow
A Journey to Africa:
Exploring Women's Rights in South Africa and Uganda
Throughout modern history, Africa has been plagued with pandemic problems that hinder social, economic, and political development. The AIDS epidemic and violence are two such problems many developing African countries are facing today. War has created an environment across Africa in which violence is accepted. Rape, a common violent crime against women in Africa, is even more devastating to women living in populations where 20-50 percent of the male population tests HIV positive.
Human Rights Watch released a research study in November of 2003 stating that violence and discrimination against women is fueling the African AIDS crisis, citing that in some African countries females are seven times more likely to be HIV positive than males. The World Health Organization reported that two-thirds of HIV positive women in Rwanda became infected as the result of rape. In South Africa an estimated 1.6 million rapes occur per year and the risk of HIV after rape is 40 percent (ALLAFRICA).