Gender-specific HIV policies and programmes at South African workplaces
AbstractThe purpose of this article is to explore how legislation and common law can be creatively interpreted in the light of the Constitution, soft law and international law so as to create legal duties on the part of employers to implement gender-specific policies and practices in the fight against HIV/AIDS, thereby helping to achieve equality and dignity. However, it is acknowledged that the law, even if imaginatively interpreted in the interests of equality and dignity, cannot alone bring about these ideals. Sexual, cultural and economic transformation can only be achieved in the light of a profound understanding of the fundamental causes of gender inequality so that pro- active strategies to eliminate them can be devised and implemented. Fundamental rights such as the right to equality and the right to dignity can form the foundational basis upon which to ground these strategies and programmes. This foundation must serve as a premise for a society where altered roles related to gender can be learned by society in general. Since commonly accepted expectations with regard to male and female behaviour are of prime importance in the spread of HIV/Aids, changes in these accepted gender roles is where the potential for the elimination of the spread of HIV/AIDS lies.