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HIV/AIDS, GENDER AND DISABILITY How are they connected? How do they relate to the Africa Campaign?

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Presentation on theme: "HIV/AIDS, GENDER AND DISABILITY How are they connected? How do they relate to the Africa Campaign?"— Presentation transcript:

1 HIV/AIDS, GENDER AND DISABILITY How are they connected? How do they relate to the Africa Campaign?



4 HIV/AIDS AND GENDER Females more vulnerable to infection. Economic factors: dependency; migrancy; sex work. Men and women victims of patriarchy. Plight of widows and orphans

5 Five types of HIV programmes Stereotypical Gender-neutral Gender-sensitive Empowering Transformational promote images of men as forceful and powerful while women are portrayed as “powerless victims.” do not distinguish between the different needs of women and men and are aimed at the general population. respond to the different needs and constraints of individuals based on their gender and sexuality. Some current AIDS programmes operate at this level, where women’s practical needs are identified and attempts are made to meet those needs through service delivery (e.g. female condoms). support women to take the necessary actions at personal, as well as group/collective/’‘community’ levels. Yet without shifting the laws and community values that often make women’s lives harder, empowerment is not sustainable. aim to transform gender relations between women and men so that they are equitable. They focus on radical change at the personal, relationship (including the redefinition of heterosexual relations), community and societal levels. Source: United Nations Secretary General’s Task Force. 2004, p7.

6 Gender, HIV/AIDS and Poverty Women living in poverty Women may engage in unsafe sex for money or goods HIV/AIDS deepens women’s poverty: care responsibilities; illness. Increased risk of HIV infection Vicious Circle

7 HIV/AIDS AND DISABILITY Vulnerability: people with disabilities Myths about disability and sexuality. Information / communication gap. Social attitudes towards disability

8 GENDER AND DISABILITY Multiple forms of oppression; Power of critique and action from below; ‘Disability issues are feminist issues’. Both men and women are victims of patriarchy

9 Disability both a cause and consequence of poverty; Low levels of employment among disabled people; High levels of illiteracy; Increasing numbers of families headed by women; Strong association between female-headed households and poverty: Feminization of poverty. GENDER, DISABILITY AND POVERTY GENDERDISABILITY POVERTY

10 UNDERSTANDING THE LINKS Poor people are especially vulnerable to HIV/AIDS Within this group, women and young girls are at increased risk. Disability also contributes to vulnerability People with disabilities, especially those who are poor and female, face multiple forms of oppression and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS

11 Challenges to the Africa Campaign Invisibility of women with disabilities, especially in rural areas Because of their poverty and powerlessness, there is a danger that women and girls with disabilities remain unreached and unrecognised by the campaign.

12 Challenges to the Africa Campaign Agency and voice: Danger of seeing people with disabilities as passive victims. Need to emphasize what people can do, not what they cannot do. Need to bring the voices of men and women with disabilities to the fore.

13 Challenges to the Africa Campaign Patriarchy – the system of male domination – as an aggravating factor Women: reduces women’s power within relationships; makes them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Men: creates peer expectations and pressures – to have multiple partners; unprotected sex, etc.

14 Challenges to the Africa Campaign Communication and information Make information accessible and meaningful to people with disabilities, especially blind and deaf people (Braille, tape aids, pictures – taking literacy levels into account)

15 Challenges to the Africa Campaign Cross-sectoral mobilization Making HIV/AIDS an issue within disabled people’s organisations; Making disability a constituency within HIV/AIDS campaigns Creating dialogue between the HIV/AIDS and disability movements.

16 Challenges to the Africa Campaign Support Providing information – even if accessible and meaningful – will not necessarily change anything. There needs to be support for people in carrying out their choices: DPOs; counseling and testing facilities; advice offices; action against abuse.

17 Challenges to the Africa Campaign ‘Inter-threading’ of issues to make a stronger campaign

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