PhD Graduate Assists HIV Positive Pregnant Women in Area of Sterilisation Abuse

‘Social justice coupled with gross human rights violations suffered by HIV positive pregnant women in South Africa and globally are what motivated me to contribute towards the global ligation effort to end sterilisation abuse,’ says UKZN staff member Dr Chantal Badul, who graduated with a Doctorate in Law.

As the Director of UKZN’s Law Clinic at the School of Law in Pietermaritzburg, Badul is extremely passionate about human rights, hence her research examined possible legal remedies for addressing the practice of coerced or forced sterilisation of women living with HIV in South Africa. The study was supervised by Professor Ann Strode.

Badul, who runs the Law Clinic which has been providing legal education to all final-year Law students and legal services to indigent people in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas for the past 18 years, said her doctoral studies had been tough but the end rewards were more than worth it.

‘I am passionate about helping indigent people and bringing them legal relief, especially women and children, she said. ‘I also love imparting knowledge to my students and hope that I am making an impact on their careers in the legal field. Professor Strode was a committed and dedicated supervisor who always pushed me to achieve my best. Without her, I would not have achieved this qualification.’

Badul, who is also a practising attorney, a conveyancer and a notary public official, is looking forward to where her newly acquired knowledge will take her as she believes knowledge is power.

‘My PhD journey taught me to think differently and enhanced my knowledge in manifold ways. I am grateful to my parents for always encouraging me to study further. My dad always instilled in me the value of continuous learning while my mom is a constant pillar of support. I am definitely looking forward to sharing my experience with my students,’ she added.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan