Gender-based violence and the risk of HIV and AIDS among women in Ngaka Modiri Molema district, North West province University (Mafikeng Campus)
GBV and HIV and AIDS are social problems that affect the quality of life and the social functioning of many people including women worldwide. They contribute negatively to the physical, social, emotional and psychological well-being of an individual. Both men and women can be perpetrators of violence, but the majority of the perpetrators of such violence are usually men against women. The aim of this study is to gain an understanding of various forms of gender-based violence and the risk of HIV and AIDS consequent upon GBV. While the relationship between gender based violence and HIV and AIDS is documented, the scarcity of researched information focusing on the nature of the relationship between GBV and HIV and AIDS in South Africa is sparse. The study adopted a qualitative research method to understand GBV and HIV and AIDS risk factors among women. Thirty (30) women from selected organizations participated in both focus groups and in-depth interviews. A literature review was undertaken to contextually understand the background of GBV and HIV and AIDS globally and in South Africa; and secondly to gain a thorough understanding of risk factors posed by GBV and HIV among women. Relevant theoretical frameworks that explain the women's status in relation to men were used to validate data- based arguments about the relationship between GBV and HIV and AIDS risk factors. Results of the literature review revealed that the interconnection between GBV and HIV and AIDS is not linear, but cyclical thus pointing out that various risk factors link GBV to HIV and AIDS. Data analysis established the following as contributory factors of the GBV and HIV and Al OS relationship: • Unequal power relations between men and women. • Traditional gender roles that condone men's masculinity over and above women's capabilities. • Culture of drinking: alcohol is readily available in the researched community and this propagates GBV and enhances opportunistic HIV incidence • Economic status: Low economic status of women makes them vulnerable to negotiate for safer sex and to openly discuss and engage in sexual issues that affect the relationships with their partners. It is concluded that there is incongruence between the existing legislative frameworks that address GBV with the level of knowledge by service users or practitioners implementing the legislations. The findings compel further investigation regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of GBV ameliorative services in the North-West Province.
- Health Sciences