Active Research

Access to Maternal Healthcare Services for Women Who are Unhoused in Cape Town, South Africa

University of Cape Town

Unhousing is an intricate social challenge with a broad spectrum of repercussions, particularly affecting physical and emotional well-being. Accessing healthcare services remains a formidable obstacle for unhoused individuals, especially women, in South Africa. Although there’s a lack of definitive data on the number of unhoused individuals, estimates suggest a range between 100,000 and 200,000. The transient nature of this community likely means that these figures are underestimated. Recently, the rising number of unhoused women has sparked public dialogue, notably on social media platforms, focusing on the absence of maternal healthcare services tailored to this vulnerable group. To address this gap, this case study seeks to examine how being unhoused influences women’s ability to access maternal healthcare services in Cape Town, South Africa.