Sexual health and rights: reproductive justice, gender, and gender-based violence

Dialogue 4 | Speakers and Facilitator

  • Nkatha Murungi
    Nkatha Murungi

    Dr Nkatha Murungi is an Assistant Director of the Centre for Human Rights, and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. She holds a Master of Laws (LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) in human rights from the University of Pretoria, and a Doctorate in Law from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. She oversees the Centre’s Women’s Rights, Disability, and Children’s Rights Units. Dr Murungi is a qualified advocate of the Kenyan Bar, and a lecturer and researcher in human rights with a keen focus on the rights of vulnerable groups such as children, women and persons with disabilities, and sexual and reproductive health rights. She has extensive experience in pan-African human rights programming and advocacy, civil society engagement with the African Union and its mechanisms, as well as human rights research, particularly in Africa. Her research covers a range of human rights issues including child rights, education, sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls in Africa, disability rights, and access to justice.

  • Enid Muthoni Ndiga
    Enid Muthoni Ndiga

    Enid Muthoni Ndiga leads the Global Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights as the Senior Vice President, overseeing its four regional programs based in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe and the Center’s global advocacy work at the United Nations. A Kenyan national, Enid has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of law, human rights, gender and women’s rights. Before joining the Center, Enid served as Country Director of Kenya and then Regional Manager for Africa at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the only intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law. Enid has also worked for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Norwegian Church Aid, Eastern Africa, the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights, and the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya). Enid received her Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Nairobi, a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law, and an MA in Gender and Development from the University of Nairobi.

  • Charles Ngwena
    Charles Ngwena

    Prof Charles Ngwena, LLB, LLM, LLD, Barrister-at-Law, is Professor of Law in the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and works across disciplines. He has published on issues at the intersection between human rights and health, including HIV/AIDS and reproductive and sexual health with a focus on the African region. He also works in the fields of disability rights, and race, culture and sexualities. He serves as the Convening Editor of the African Disability Rights Yearbook, Section Editor of Developing World Bioethics (for Law and Bioethics) and associate editor of the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. He is co-editor of Employment equity law (Butterworths); co-editor of Health and human rights (Ashgate, 2007); and co-editor of Strengthening sexual and reproductive rights in the African region through human rights (Pretoria University Law Press, 2014). He is the author of What is Africanness? Contesting nativism in race, culture and sexualities (Pretoria University Law Press, 2018), available online here. You can listen to the podcast on this book here.

  • Saoyo Tabitha Griffith
    Saoyo Tabitha Griffith

    Saoyo Tabitha Griffith, LLB (Moi University), Post Graduate Diploma (Kenya School of Law), LLM (University of Pretoria) PhD (Cardiff University, ongoing) Aspen New Voices Fellow 2019, Law Society of Kenya Pro-Bono Jurist 2019. Ms Saoyo is an astute legal and policy expert on health and human rights. She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with over nine years of experience navigating the policy, human rights, health and governance spaces in East Africa. Her special bias is in Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, particularly having engaged in programs targeted at addressing unsafe abortion, sexual violence, forced sterilization and teen pregnancies. Professionally, Saoyo has worked in private practice, served at the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya and consulted for UNDP in contextualizing HIV and the linkages to sexual and gender-based violence. Until recently, she was the Deputy Director and Head of Programs at KELIN, a Kenyan NGO working on health-related rights. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching and has been a visiting lecturer at the Strathmore Law School and Centre for Human Rights, South Africa.

  • Ebenezer Durojaye
    Ebenezer Durojaye

    Ebenezer Durojaye is a Professor of Law and Head of the Socioeconomic Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. His research interests include human rights issues raised by access to HIV/AIDS treatment, the intersection between gender inequality and HIV/AIDS response in Africa, women’s health and adolescents’ sexual and reproductive rights in Africa. He has written widely on these issues in international journals. He is one of the Independent Experts of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Committee on the Protection of the Rights of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and those at Risk, Vulnerable to and Affected by HIV.

  • Nyasha Chingore-Munazvo
    Nyasha Chingore-Munazvo

    Nyasha Chingore-Munazvo is a passionate human rights lawyer and gender activist, with over fifteen years of experience in human rights, particularly advancing woman’s rights and gender equality. She is currently programmes lead at AIDS and Rights Alliance in Southern Africa (ARASA) a regional partnership of civil society organisations working in 18 countries in Southern and East Africa.

    The partnership works to promote respect for and the protection of the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity for all in order to reduce inequality, especially gender inequality and promote health, dignity and wellbeing in southern and east Africa. Prior to joining ARASA Nyasha was Regional Manager for Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) based in Nairobi, Kenya. The Center is a global organisation that uses the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world. Before joining the Center, she was at the Southern Africa Litigation Center (SALC) based in Johannesburg, South Africa where she was responsible for leading SALC’s legal, advocacy and research work related to sexual and reproductive rights and HIV.

"We look at the right to life, the right to health, the right to non-discrimination, the right to dignity, the right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment... all very, very useful. And over the years, we have seen the treaty monitoring bodies giving better clarifications into what this means for the enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health." Ebenezer Durojaye

The fourth dialogue focused on the intersection between the right to health, sexuality, and gender. Former mandate holders addressed their work on sexual health and rights, in particular: Mr. Anand’s work on behavior decriminalization, including sex work, Mr. Paul’s work on maternal mortality, and Dr. Dainius’ work on violence prevention and sexual health of adolescents.

Panelists reflected on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which exposed the political, social, and cultural dimensions of sexuality, as well as the crucial role of activism and social engagement in affirming women’s health and reproductive health rights.

Panelists also discussed the relationship between state laws and policies, global health architecture, and paternalistic policy-making structures, with issues including racial and gendered forms of oppression, gender-based violence, mental health stigmatization, substance use and disabilities, and women and gender minorities’ sexual and reproductive rights.



Discussion Paper


UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health