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Refereed articles

The impact of traditional sex practices on the construction of female sexuality: an African human rights perspective

Letetia van der Poll critically evaluates the traditional African sex practices of dry sex and virginity testing against the backdrop of three key African human rights instruments. The article argues that such practices violate some of the most basic rights and freedoms of women, including their inherent dignity and their rights to equality and privacy.

The African Commission does not sanction limitations on the rights of women. The article concludes that African states have an obligation to ensure that the family unit does not become a haven for harmful gender-specific practices. That obligation rests on the broader legal community also.

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