South Africa remains the country with the highest number of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. UNAIDS estimated that by end-2005, 5.5 million people were living with HIV in South Africa — 3.1 million of them women (UNAIDS 2006, Annex 2). What is perhaps even more disconcerting is that the epidemic here shows no evidence of a decline (UNAIDS 2006, 17).
At the same time, South Africa also faces extraordinarily high levels of gender-based violence [GBV]. Where women are vulnerable to GBV (such as domestic violence), their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS also increases exponentially because of the accepted correlations between GBV and HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS and GBV have a profound effect on women’s access to housing. It has been observed that disclosure of HIV/AIDS status results in stigmatization, domestic violence, abuse and abandonment. It has further been observed that South African women are often trapped in violent relationships due to the fact that they have nowhere else to go – they are dependent for accommodation and other resources on their abusive partners, amongst other reasons because housing is allocated to male partners as breadwinners. This dependency is compounded by the fact that poverty in South Africa is stratified along gender lines – there is a high unemployment rate for women than men, which impacts negatively on women’s ability to afford housing.
Furthermore, although there is no housing policy specific to women experiencing violence and the housing framework around HIV/AIDS is still developing, generally, the South African government has implemented housing programmes on the national, provincial and local government levels aimed at fulfilling the constitutional right to have access to adequate housing. In addition, informal community structures (ICSs) operate in certain communities and play a role in housing allocation. This Project seeks to address a key gap in the current knowledge base regarding women and girls’ access to housing, viz. how these informal community structures operate and specifically, what the practices are in respect of women and girls vulnerable to GBV and HIV/AIDS.
- The aim of this project is to strengthen the capacity of informal community structures to promote the realisation of women and girls’ rights to have access to adequate housing as a means of reducing their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
- To obtain base-line knowledge obtained on the housing allocation practices of informal community structures in respect of women and girls vulnerable to GBV and HIV/AIDS in three communities in Cape Town (Langa, Mfulenei and Manenberg) 31 August 2006.
- To identify strategies to strengthen the capacity of informal community structures to give effect to the right to access adequate housing of women and girls vulnerable to GBV and HIV/AIDS in the three communities in Cape Town by 30 December 2006.
- There is an increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa coupled with disturbingly high levels of gender-based violence (GBV). Where women are vulnerable to GBV (such as domestic violence), their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS also increases exponentially because of the accepted correlations between GBV and HIV/AIDS.
- View details | Download
- Written in plain language and user-friendly format, the guide aims to inform and educate its readers on the different housing allocation policies in the Western Cape Province.
- View details
- This report is an investigation in the role of informal community structures in determining access to housing for women at risk of gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS in three communities in Cape Town.
- View details | Download