TODAY -

Unite The Diverse Voices Of Key Affected Women and Girls

Shobha Shukla *



10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (10th ICAAP) in Busan from 26th August to 30th August, 2011
10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (10th ICAAP) in Busan from 26th August to 30th August, 2011



The 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (10th ICAAP), which is being convened in Busan from 26th August to 30th August, 2011, promises to promote equal access to prevention, support, treatment and care for all people. It raises our hopes to address the needs and rights of key affected women and girls (who include those living with HIV, female sex workers, female drug users, transgender women, wives/partners of drug users, wives of men-who-have-sex-with-men - MSMs) in HIV programmes.

To ensure universal access to prevention, treatment and care it is essential that there be zero tolerance to gender based violence—mental as well as physical. In many countries the stigma and discrimination suffered by women and girls living with, or vulnerable to, HIV/AIDS results in lack of access to basic/reproductive healthcare services, loss of employment, denial of property rights, and social ostracism.

This is particularly true of India and perhaps other countries of the subcontinent, where a common woe of women living with HIV was that they had contracted the disease from their husbands after marriage, and were subsequently thrown out of their in-laws house with no means to sustain them. Their biggest problem, apart from social stigma, is how to fend for themselves and their children. They find it almost impossible to fight court cases to get a share in the family property, despite the law being on their side.

As Paul Causey from Bangkok rightly remarks, "Access to basic legal services is essential to helping PLHIV women and their families obtain what the law provides for them (in most countries) but what society denies them: property ownership, employment opportunities and social protection coverage for basics like health care, food, water and shelter."

Paul commented in an online consultation facilitated on key affected women and girls on SEA-AIDS (Asia Pacific regional eForum on HIV/AIDS) by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA) and Citizen News Service (CNS).

So HIV prevention programmes should take a human rights and gender sensitive approach while strengthening community and health systems. There is an urgent need for all countries to de-criminalize drug use and sex work and provide a friendly, safe and supportive healthcare service facility, including reproductive health services, for female injecting drug users (IDUs) and sex workers. Scaling up of gender sensitive harm reduction services for FIDUs and female partners of IDUs needs to be taken up.

Voices from Bangladesh and India in the above-mentioned online consultation lament that "the stigma in general healthcare services for female injecting drug users and female partners of injecting drug users is alarmingly high, and a friendly, safe and supportive healthcare service facility for them is a rare find.

So we not only need to scale up harm reduction services but also make them gender sensitive to the needs of female IDUs and female partners of IDUs. There should be a comprehensive strategy of harm reduction, with separate intervention programs for this vulnerable community, specifically in areas where such communities exist."

Voices from Thailand and adjoining areas feel that focusing HIV prevention on sex work is the most cost-effective investment in Asia and the Pacific. The broad consensus achieved at the end of the first ever Regional Consultation on HIV and Sex Work, that took place in Pattaya last year, highlighted the need to address the rights and realities of sex workers from a human rights perspective with a focus on creating an enabling legal and policy environment, decriminalizing sex work, eliminating violence against sex workers, and including sex workers as partners in development and implementation of programmes.

Affected communities from male dominant societies of Nepal and India aver that Community Systems Strengthening can be done by building the capacity of affected women/girls, to make them competent enough to contribute effectively in programmes addressing their community by being involved in designing, implementing, and monitoring HIV policies/ programmes.

An Indian voice felt that the challenge in the developing countries is to address the issue of having service providers of the same sex for women, particularly in socio-culturally restricted societies. It is imperative that affected women and girls be involved at each and every process in policy making, designing and delivery of national programmes.

This capacity building would require addressing the gender inequalities that make it harder for women to safeguard their sexual reproductive health. Millions of women live in societies that permit them no role in sexual decision-making, that condone male infidelity and assign the burden of shame associated with infectious diseases to women.

Hence it becomes necessary to increase awareness about safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS in not only key affected populations but in women and adolescent girls in general. They need to have access to safe and cheaply available contraceptive methods which they can initiate and use.

Kimberly Whipkey, Global Advocacy Specialist, Technology Solutions Global Program, PATH, rightly feels that, "We have a prevention technology available today - the female condom – which is designed specifically for women to initiate and use, and offers protection from HIV, other STIs, and pregnancy. Unfortunately, female condoms are not making it into the hands of most women, be they married women, migrant women, sex workers, rural women, or adolescents.

As advocates, we should urge decision makers to endorse policies and funding that raise awareness of and access to more protection options for women. This also includes building the knowledge and skills of women so that they can use these technologies effectively."

Both HIV and sexual and reproductive ill-health is driven by many common root causes, including gender inequality, poverty and social marginalization of the most vulnerable populations. There is an urgent need to reaffirm the linkages and synergies between HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health and their inter-relationships within broader issues of public health, development and human rights.

It is hoped that the 10th ICAAP, true to its theme of ‘Diverse Voices, United Action’, will pay heed to the voices of key affected women/girls, and develop a guidance note (to be implemented by all countries of the region) which would address gender-based violence and support the building of leadership in communities, particularly women living with HIV and key affected women.


* Shobha Shukla (Editor of Citizen News Service (CNS)) contributes regularly to e-pao.net . The author is the Editor of Citizen News Service (CNS). She is a J2J Fellow of National Press Foundation (NPF) USA. She is also the Director of CNS Gender Initiative and CNS Diabetes Media Initiative (CNS-DMI). She has worked earlier with State Planning Institute, UP. Email: shobha(at)citizen-news(dot)org, website: www.citizen-news.org)
This article was webcasted on August 24, 2011.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Sangai Day 10: Closing #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Koireng Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • In remembering Oting, emphasis on Solution
  • Activism against Gender based Violence
  • World Cup 2022- 1st Round: Hope & Despair
  • Is your life worth tobacco ash ?
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Sans irrigation toxic food crops imminent
  • Putting off polls & deprivation of rights
  • 60th Mr Manipur Bodybuilding #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Poumai Dance :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Khulang Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Medicines that save us from STI
  • Taj Mahal - The white wonder
  • World Soil Day
  • Oting killing: Protracted probe imminent
  • How many tourists visited during Sangai Fest
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Aeromycology over Kachai lemon plantation #2
  • Fostering NE-Bangladesh ties through Assam
  • Medical camp at Khongsang
  • Brighten your winter face with pumpkin
  • Stray cattle menace & food self-sufficiency
  • Accusing fingers raised by PAPPM
  • Sangai Fest: Sayol Sangai Chatkoi :: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #5: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • The unseen masks men put on
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #4
  • Christmas Carol Competition at Leimakhong
  • Sangai Fest: Thang Ta :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Chiru Dance :: Gallery
  • Sports sees no gender, Sports has no gender
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • RFYC Naupang League in Mizoram
  • MPSC is going ahead of UPSC
  • Session on Meditation & Mental Health
  • Challenges stacked up for Manipuri women
  • Antagonists of ST demand for Meiteis
  • Sangai Day 10: Closing #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 10: Crowd scene :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Will Thailand lead in antimicrobial resistance
  • Webninar @NEHU : India-Japan Relations
  • Keeping up with time :: Poem
  • World AIDS Day 2022 at Tamenglong
  • Doctor-Govt stalemate, public in peril
  • Progress of the Naga peace talk
  • Sangai Day 9: Dancing Drummers :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Aimol Dance :: Gallery
  • December Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • A flight of the Hornbill
  • Working with children as career
  • Stable situation essential for attracting tourist
  • Selling Manipur to outside world
  • Sangai Day 8: Shumang Leela :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Kom Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Innocence :: Poem
  • Foreign Secy's Myanmar visit ... Naga peace
  • Cancellation of residential proof certs
  • Derelict teachers threat to govt schools
  • Many questions, but no answers
  • Sangai Day 8: Food Stall #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 7: Vaiphei Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 1st & 2nd session of 12th Manipur Assembly
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #3
  • IFFI means to upscale to Manipuri Cinema
  • Continuous bid to save endangered ponies
  • Arguments over ST : Meiteis are indigenes
  • Sangai Day 6: Elowe: Dzuko Valley :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Khunung Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Alligator weed: Indigenous fodder resource
  • Two lives :: Poem
  • People don't actually care !!
  • The beauty in tea
  • Healthy response to Sangai Fest
  • Lessons from Japanese fans at WC
  • Sangai Day 5: Fashion parade :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Thangal Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Masterclasses add value to 53rd IFFI at Goa
  • 7th Charuangc 2022 : Rongmei of Delhi-NCR
  • Miss India from Manipur
  • Startup Innovation Conclave 1.0
  • National Constitution Day at Lilong
  • Sangai Day 4: 3 Types Of Drums :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Chothe Dance :: Gallery
  • Involuntary Displacement in Manipur
  • Forgotten feature Film comes alive at IFFI
  • Will we protect medicines that protect us
  • God gives us our daily bread...
  • NPF consultative meeting at Zunheboto
  • Lapses in education laid bare by student
  • Adding a new flavour to War on Drugs
  • Sangai Day 3: Polo International :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tangkhul Dance :: Gallery
  • 1st L. Keivom Memorial Day
  • Eina Khankhiba Natte : Movie Review
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Eight Meet of Astronomers concluded at MU
  • 'Manipuri films projecting Manipuri culture'
  • Condemn govts of Assam & Meghalaya
  • Corruption-free Manipur resolve under scrutiny
  • Asia at the World Cup
  • Sangai Day 2: Khutpak Chatkoi #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tarao Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Screening of Manipuri films at IFFI
  • Nagaland Govt has no economic policy: NPF
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #2
  • Reinvent Northeast - Dimapur launched
  • Uneasy calm in northeast as border rows rage
  • FIFAWC and Sangai Festival : Splendid recipe
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Pune :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningol Chakouba organized at Pune
  • Free mega health camp at Nagamapal
  • Outlaw glyphosate and its derivatives
  • Creators Meet of Tripura at Agartala
  • No respite from drug and tobacco threats
  • Manipur: Fountainhead of drugs ?
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 1: Opening ceremony :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Copa Manipur at Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • South Asia's film market features Manipur
  • ST Demand: Decided by merits; not by poll
  • Ecotoxicology- needed to save living beings
  • 'Look East policy into Act East Policy'
  • Tourism promotional fest litmus test for state
  • Sangai & Pony, the twin face of Manipur
  • Tarpon Chaklen Katpa #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Activities List
  • The Dream Kangleipak :: Book Review
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 53rd IFFI featuring Manipuri Cinema kicks off
  • World Toilet Day 2022
  • Pulicat Lagoon, Flamingos' haven
  • Amid substance abuse, thrust on open gym
  • FIFA World Cup 2022
  • 1st CM's Sagol Kangjei C'ship :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Sangai Fest as a way to Look East Policy
  • 1st Chief Minister's Sagol Kangjei C'ship
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #1
  • For PM Modi, G20 has come at the right time
  • Rock band Arogya releases latest single
  • Community Ningol Chakouba #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Out of the heart comes the issues of life
  • NE Startup Showcase @ Manipur Tech Hub
  • Immortal Gallows :: Poem
  • Workshop on Amrita Meditation at RGU ArP
  • Skin Pigmentation in Winter
  • Influx issue headache for all indigenes
  • Wanted: Visionary leaders :: Follies of past
  • The changing idioms of Manipuri theatre
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • DFC Shillong launched with Model workshop
  • Antimicrobial resistance... to reverse progress
  • 2nd North East Olympic Games closes
  • Unending quota system & National excellence
  • Solar energy can help India achieve net-zero
  • Sangai Festival as launch pad for tourism
  • All eyes on Qatar
  • Manipur Journalist Awards #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Delegates for IFFI, Goa
  • Intellectual Class- First Line of Defense
  • Who are ST in true spirit of Constitution
  • Journalism is a public good ...
  • Vaccine transported through Drones in ArP
  • Mass tree felling depreciates existence...
  • ST demand : Let Delhi have the say
  • 5th Kwatha Festival #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • This Eleventh Edition of Sangai Festival
  • The garden of Kew #2
  • NE International Fashion Week 2022
  • Housing system for sow & piglets
  • Doctors grieving relentlessly, Govt silent
  • Law catching up after 21 years
  • Leima Jagoi @ Nongshaba #1 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Technology innovation Hub
  • North East BJP Karyakartas Sammelan
  • Supreme Court call for revisit of reservation
  • Rural Immersion Camp at West Kameng
  • World Diabetes Day 2022
  • Undeserving PDS rice beneficiaries
  • Leaving the doors wide open
  • On author, research & publication #3
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • MSAD : newly elected executives for 2022-23
  • 'Trust deficit' in Naga talks
  • Professor Bimola : A Life Fully Lived
  • Love's Twist :: Poem
  • Rani Gaidinliu Training Camp concluded
  • Job for all promise as unemployed rises
  • Presenting Manipur to the world
  • Manipur Fashion Extravaganza #3 :: Gallery
  • Seminar on Role of Women in Sports : Report
  • The great Asian Highway : Tokyo to Istanbul
  • Seminar : Reconstruction of Education
  • 4th National Lok Adalat for the year, 2022
  • Rishi Sunak .. is a pucca English Burra sahib
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Gift presents :: Gallery
  • Conference on Metallomics @ Manipur Univ
  • An awakening sprout in darkness :: Poem
  • Narration from a man who chase mountains
  • Jobs @ JCRE skill solutions, Thangmeiband
  • Masterclass on Social Photography kicks off
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • Probe into PMGSY project blot on graft-free
  • Opinion poll & quest for ST status
  • MANITEX @ Nilakuthi #1 :: Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023
  • Camping @Shirui Lily Fest #2 :: Gallery
  • Aku Zeliang : Young Talent of the Year Award
  • Manipur in UN's drug cartel map...
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #3 :: Gallery
  • Application: AgriEntrepreneur across Manipur
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Program & Venues
  • Ningol Chakouba at Bengaluru
  • Linthoi Chanambam- Judo Player :: Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • Hari-Uthang Kang Chingba :: Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #2 :: Gallery
  • Kut Festival @ Churachandpur : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural Program #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #1 :: Gallery
  • Okram Kumar : Archaeological researcher
  • Mera Houchongba @ Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download