In February 2016, we launched this sign-on statement for members to join the Coalition. It seeks to articulate how we understand sexual and reproductive justice in the South African context, as well as our ethics and approach to our work. Those who wish to be members of the SRJC must agree to this statement in order to be approved as a member.
Working from an ethics of justice and an ethics of care, the SRJC is a coalition of organisations and individuals engaged in advocacy, research, service delivery, education, policy analysis and activism work in the fields of gender, sexual and reproductive justice, health, rights and care.
We underscore the commitment of government to justice principles, in particular that reproductive justice is achieved “when all people have the social, political and economic power and resources to make healthy decisions about their gender, bodies and sexualities”, as noted in Fifteen Year Progress Review of the Implementation of the Population Policy for South Africa (1998) and the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) (p. 68).
Sexual and reproductive justice
Building on this, we understand sexual and reproductive justice as:
- Locating sexualities and reproduction intersectionally within social, economic, cultural, gendered, geographical, political, racialized, age-based, and ability-based and other power relations;
- Overcoming inequalities and oppressions, including silencing, stigma, judgement, and other barriers to accessing information, resources and services;
- Affirming diversity of identities;
- Recognizing different vulnerabilities and abilities;
- Addressing violations, particularly gender based coercion and violence that occur in a number of settings;
- Advocating comprehensive care, including mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health;
- Acknowledging and overcoming cross-cutting pervasive social challenges such as transport, safety, water, sanitation, violence, crime, alcohol, drugs, migration, labour exploitation; and
- Affirming sex positive, sexualities positive and positive reproductive decision-making approaches.
Debate and dialogue
We encourage critical and constructive debate and dialogue about issues relating to sexual and reproductive justice, health and care. We are committed to diversity across a range of groups in our governance structures. We encourage inclusivity of voice within the framework of the values of the coalition. We envisage a vibrant and passionate group of activists forwarding sexual and reproductive justice, health and care.