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Health Equity in Africa

Sexual and reproductive health of asylum seeking and refugee women in South Africa: understanding the determinants of vulnerability

Sexual and reproductive health of asylum seeking and refugee women in South Africa: understanding the determinants of vulnerability

Women asylum seekers and refugees face huge challenges related to their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights. In this article we explore the structural determinants of vulnerability to poor SRH for these women in South Africa, and focus particularly on the political, legal and economic structures which render them vulnerable. Based on a qualitative study carried out in Durban, South Africa, we argue that it is vital to go beyond analyses which prioritise the socio-cultural barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights for asylum seekers and refugees, and to consider the wider national and international policies and legislation which create barriers to these women’s rights to SRH.

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