Presentation on theme: "I C W. International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS Gender inequities, HIV, vulnerability and impact across the Commonwealth Commonwealth Parliamentarians."— Presentation transcript:
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS Gender inequities, HIV, vulnerability and impact across the Commonwealth Commonwealth Parliamentarians Association London Nov 2006 ICW - Patron: Mary Robinson
The Burden of HIV/AIDS on women in Commonwealth Countries The Commonwealth has: 66% = 25 million of all 38 million people with HIV/AIDS 72% = 12.2 million of all 17 million women with HIV/AIDS 4 million of the 6 million people in need of ARV treatment (and also care at home from women) Relatively much more HIV in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean (ie where women are poorest)
1 Marriage has now been recognised as a risk factor for HIV for women in many parts of…….. sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and L America sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and L America HIV: Global Facts 2005 Some more facts (UNAIDS)
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW) (ICW) Most of our members in 130 countries of the world never thought themselves to be at risk of HIV……….. ………and of those that did, most had no power to reduce their risk ………and of those that did, most had no power to reduce their risk
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS “Five of my six sisters, all educated, married, intelligent women, in senior career jobs, like me, are now dead. They realised too late that they were at risk – and even then, what could they do about it? We just have no equality in our marriages.”
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS “ Some of my friends from student days 30 years ago decided they just wanted to have children without getting married, to avoid the ties of marriage. At the time many criticised them. Now we have realised that they were the wise ones…….”
Gender “In all societies, gender is important in determining what women and men are expected to know about sexual matters, how they are expected to behave and their attitudes in relation to sex” (DFID report: Hansard, 2001)
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS Men.… Women & girls… DECISION-MAKING being TESTED (in ANCs) In relationships and In government being BLAMED giving CARE to the sick giving CARE to the sick Getting (some) TREATMENT …. But …. Getting (some) TREATMENT …. But ….
“We have been told by the MoH to promote ante- natal testing to stop MTCT. But one young pregnant woman who tested positive here last month has just told us that she has been beaten and thrown out of her home by her husband and her parents won’t take her back either. What will happen to her and her child now? This policy pains us too: it is no good without community understanding….” (Govt. nurse, E Africa) (Govt. nurse, E Africa) Health workers see policies backfire…
X Forced Depo-provera…. (“no sex”…) X No condoms X No treatment for other STIs, eg herpes X Have to PAY for other tests X Have to return several times for test results results X No privacy X At home – guilt, theft of drugs, no food X Sharing drugs with children too… X Some women sell drugs for food…… When women do receive treatment…..
“My dream, what I was – a nurse known by all, with prestige, loved by everyone – had gone. I fell into depression and forgot everyone in the world” (ICW member) Health workers often add to stigma too…
H EALTH H EALTH unbiased care and respect unbiased care and respect full sexual and reproductive rights full sexual and reproductive rights Positive workplace policies… Positive workplace policies… VCT first (then ANC)…. VCT first (then ANC)…. Meaningful involvement Meaningful involvement of Positive women… L AW REFORM $$$$$$$ E DUCATION an end to violence education an end to violence education child custody rights & property and inheritance rights good sex education E CONOMICS sustainable livelihoods sustainable livelihoods free access to treatment free access to treatment
more orphans no farmers no carers of the sick no educators of children no communities no future Keep HIV positive women Alive, Well, and Respected…. or…
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS www.icw.org the only international network run by and for HIV positive women November 2006 London Dr Alice Welbourn ICW