Ensuring Gender Sensitivity in the Rollout of Medical Male Circumcision in South Africa

October 31, 2011

Leader Kanyiki, an AVAC Fellow, has been working with allies in South Africa since the beginning of this year to ensure civil society input into the National Implementation Guidelines for Medical Male Circumcision. This document, to be released on December 1, will guide South African policy and strategy for this powerful prevention tool. Kanyiki held meetings with policy makers, the Department of Health (DOH), the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and civil society as part of contributing to the drafting process, with a particular focus on gender sensitivity. Through the work of Kanyiki and allies, the final document states, “The involvement of women, both as sexual partners and mothers, will be promoted to the greatest extent possible. Men who wish to be circumcised will be encouraged to discuss the decision with their sexual partner.” While the inclusion of gender sensitivity language in significant, monitoring its implementation as South Africa’s medical male circumcision rollout moves forward is critical.

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