Feature story

UN Women and UNAIDS address the 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women

01 March 2011

A wide view of the General Assembly as Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro (on screens) addresses the opening of the fifty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). 22 February 2011. United Nations, New York.
Credit: UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

On 28 February 2011, UNAIDS delivered a  statement on behalf of its cosponsors as well as UN Women at the 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The joint statement addressed the linkages between HIV, education and employment of girls and women.

The statement highlighted some of the key elements needed to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV infection. These include women and girls’ access to quality formal and non-formal education; accurate HIV information and comprehensive gender-sensitive sexuality education. The promotion of women’s economic empowerment, including the protection of their property and inheritance rights; as well as equal access to employment are also included.

The UN bodies underscored how gender disparities increase the vulnerability of girls and women to HIV infection. Lack of legal rights, education and economic opportunities for women and girls limit their choices as well as their capacity to refuse sex, to negotiate safer sex or to resist sexual violence and coercion.

Women and girls are also faced with the responsibility to provide AIDS-related care to others, often missing out on education and employment opportunities for their own advancement.

The 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women is taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from Tuesday, 22 February to Friday, 4 March 2011. The priority theme of this year’s event is “Access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work.”