In Women’s Words: HIV priorities for positive change

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In Women’s Words: HIV priorities for positive change

07 June 2011

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and Ms Alicia Keys, Artist and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive at the launch of the report report titled “In Women’s Words: HIV priorities for positive change”. New York, 7 June 2011.
Credit: UNAIDS/J.Szenes

To bring to the forefront priority actions for the AIDS response put forward by women around the world ahead of the General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS, a special event was held on 7 June.

The event launched a report In Women’s Words: HIV priorities for positive change . The publication summarizes the key messages and findings from a global virtual consultation which engaged with nearly 800 women from over 95 countries and in nine languages. The consultation was a platform to give a voice to women living with and affected by HIV to express their priorities and vision for the future of the AIDS response. The publication enables the participants of the consultation to share their viewpoints and call to action to a wider audience.

The launch was followed by a panel discussion moderated by journalist and author Stephanie Nolen.

The President of Rwanda Paul Kagame described the efforts in his country to end gender inequality. “In Rwanda, we strive every day to empower every women and girl to claim their true value, not as a favour, not because it is politically expedient, but because it is their right and we embrace that.”

In Rwanda, we strive every day to empower every women and girl to claim their true value, not as a favour, not because it is politically expedient, but because it is their right and we embrace that

President of Rwanda Paul Kagame

UNAIDS Executive Director echoed the importance of criticality of women’s empowerment. “We will never succeed in achieving zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and even zero stigma and discrimination, when women living with HIV are coerced into sterilization or abortion; or in a world where women cannot negotiate safe sex; a world where rape is not treated as a crime.”

Frika Chiya who is a young woman living with HIV, highlighted women’s calls to be fully engaged in scaling up the AIDS response saying, “I am a living proof that a lot has been achieved in the last 10 years; let’s not lose the momentum. Talk to us, not about us.”

International artist and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive Alicia Keys also participated in the event. “If we show the next generation of women and girls that we care by providing the resources to achieve universal access, this will empower them,” she said. “If we do that, we will stop the epidemic in its tracks.”

The event was co-organized by UNAIDS, UN Women, the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS and the ATHENA Network. Watch a video below:



UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS

Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, and 10 years since the landmark UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the world has come together to review progress and chart the future course of the global AIDS response at the 2011 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS from 8–10 June 2011 in New York. Member States are expected to adopt a new Declaration that will reaffirm current commitments and commit to actions to guide and sustain the global AIDS response.