Amplifying the voices of women living with HIV: UN Women at the 2014 International AIDS Conference
Date: 17 July 2014
As a co-sponsor of UNAIDS, UN Women will ensure women’s voices and leadership feature prominently in the global HIV response, at the 20th International AIDS conference, Stepping up the Pace, in Melbourne, Australia from 20-25 July, 2014. Organized by the International AIDS Society, the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, AIDS 2014 is a global advocacy event expected to bring together over 14,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries. It is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policymakers, people living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic.
The main objective of the conference is to ensure that HIV remains on top of the global agenda, as the formulation of the new goals for a post-2015 framework are being discussed. The importance of gender equality within the context of HIV and AIDS is paramount, thus UN Women’s strategic presence at AIDS 2014 will ensure that gender issues are highlighted and that women’s voices are reflected in the global response.
Promoting gender equality and human rights for women living with HIV and AIDS is one of UN Women’s key areas of work, including through its Gender Equality and HIV/AIDS portal. UN Women will be supporting Ms. Promise Mthembu, a South African leader and activist from the International Community of Women, a global network of women living with HIV to speak during the high-level Special Session: No One Left Behind: Stepping Up the Pace on Gender Equality, Human Rights and Protective Laws on Monday 21 July, from 1-2 p.m. The Women’s Networking Zone within the Global Village will also be supported by UN Women to provide a space for rallying around gender issues.
UN Women will highlight key issues during the conference through presentations and panel participation (see a list of events), in particular to:
- strengthen the advocacy and policy-setting capacity of networks of Women living with HIV;
- strengthen the enabling environment and promote legal empowerment of women living with HIV and women affected by HIV and AIDS; and
- promote gender equality and sexual rights as central in the post-2015 framework
UN Women’s work on the ground:
Women are cultivating mushrooms and tomatoes, learning about business and agriculture and pooling their funds along with combating social stigma and confronting gender-based violence.
More than 1,300 poor women have received home-based care, skills-training and grants to start their own businesses through a Fund for Gender Equality programme.
A programme in seven countries advances efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality highlighting the links between violence against women, HIV/AIDS and maternal health, and training midwives and community health workers to bring long-term change.
To mark World AIDS Day (1 December) we profile the life of a woman who is claiming her rights as a member of the Peruvian Network of Positive Women.