The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women, will spotlight the impact of AIDS on women and persistent challenges faced by women and girls, in spite of global commitments. The newly established organization, UN Women, charged with advancing gender equality will call for stronger strategies to empower positive women’s leadership, access to treatment and services and ending discrimination faced by HIV-positive women and girls.
- Progress has been made and latest data shows that the number of newly infected people is shrinking and can continue to decrease, especially as new tools of prevention become accessible.
- However, women represent nearly 52 percent of those living with HIV, with young girls being particularly vulnerable. This reflects an increase in the infection rate among women.
- According to a new UN report, young people make up an estimated 41 percent of new infections, majority of them young women (over 60 percent), with the number rising to an alarming high (72 percent) in certain parts of the world such as sub-Saharan Africa.
- Gaps and challenges faced by women infected and affected by HIV continue, with major obstacles in accessing prevention, protection, treatment and care.
- Women’s voices and participation, particularly HIV-positive women’s participation, in the HIV and AIDS response is largely missing but critical to end the pandemic for all.
During the High Level meeting, UN Women will participate in a number of events which focus on women’s engagement and participation, particularly HIV-positive women’s participation, in the HIV and AIDS response.
UN Women is co-organizing the following high-level side event:
HIV Priorities for Positive Change: In Women’s Words
Tuesday, 7 June, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Conference Room 2, North Lawn Building, United Nations
Launch of global report “In Women’s Voices,” highlighting demands and priorities identified by women through a global virtual consultation. Speakers include: H.E. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams of Sint Maarten; H.E. Vabah Gayflor, Minister of Gender and Development of Liberia; Mr. Michel Sidibe, Executive Director, UNAIDS; Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women; Ms.Ebony Johnson, ATHENA Network; Ms. Frika Chia Iskander, Independent consultant on HIV and AIDS, Ms. Alicia Keys, musician and actress and co-founder of Keep a Child Alive; and Ms. Annie Lennox, Scottish recording artist, UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador. The event will be moderated by Stephanie Nolen, South Asia correspondent for The Globe and Mail. The event is organized by UNAIDS and UN Women, in collaboration with the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, and ATHENA Network. (Webcast: www.un.org/webcast).
UN Women is co-sponsoring and will participate in the following event:
Universal access to prevention and treatment is impossible without care and support
Friday, 10 June, 8:30-9:45 a.m.
Conference Room E, North Lawn Building, United Nations
This session will assess the impact of care and support services on the HIV response and explore the experiences of both providers and recipients. Participants will make concrete policy recommendations for adequately resourcing care and support. The event will be chaired by Jimmy Kolker Chief HIV/AIDS Section, UNICEF and opening remarks will be provided by a representative from the Government of Japan. Speakers include: Professor Alloys Orago, Director of the Kenya National AIDS Control Council; Ms. Kufekisa Laugery, Chair of the Board of the Senior Citizens Association of Zambia; and Ms. Agnes Atim, Caregivers Action Network, Uganda. Ms. Nomcebo Manzini, Regional Director for Southern Africa, UN Women, and Ngone Diop, Gender and Poverty Reduction Advisor and Leader of Cluster on Poverty and MDGs, UNDP will serve as discussants. The event is co-organized by: Caregiver’s Action Network, the UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development, HIV Care and Support Initiative and Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA). The event is co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Japan, the Permanent Mission Kenya, UNDP, UN Women.
Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women, will also be speaking at the following events:
The AIDS Pandemic at 30 Years: Can it be stopped?
Monday 6 June, 5:30–7:30 p.m. (By invitation only.)
Council on Foreign Relations
Prevention and Protection Saves Lives: Girls, Women and HIV
Wednesday 8 June, 1 p.m.–2.45 p.m.
International Peace Institute
This event is being organized by the International Peace Institute in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations, Women Deliver, and Family Care International.
Media Contact: Oisika Chakrabarti, Media Specialist, UN Women, oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org, +1 646 781-4522.
More information on UN Women: www.unwomen.org
More information on Gender Equality and HIV/AIDS: www.genderandaids.org
For information on media accreditation and official programme of the 2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS: www.un.org/en/ga/aidsmeeting2011/