Project Description

Whats inside:
Special report:
Not a ‘magic
bullet’
Feedback from
the Global
Village…
International
Women’s March
News from the
‘margins’…
Addressing the
‘double epidemic’
Women’s
realities…
Putting women
and mothers in jail
Women’s Voices…
Invest in women
and girls
Regional voices…
Quienes deben
decidir
In Focus…
Young woman’s voice heard for the first time at the Plenary
Elizabet Fadul, a youth activist
from Honduras became the
first young woman to address the
plenary sessions, since the start of
the IAS conferences. She noted
that of all infections, 40% are
youth – HIV is increasingly young,
significantly female and increasingly
marginalized. They have met below
50% of the goals set for access
and prevention. Referring to key
messages developed by the Mexico
Youth Force, a wide ranging
coalition of groups, she articulated
the call for:
• Rights: We have the right
to comprehensive, accurate
information and service to
protect our sexual health;
• Respect: for our realities,
our experience and our
contributions;
• Responsibility: together, we
must create an environment
where we have power over
the decisions that affect our
health and lives; and
• Resources: we need
training, mentorship, funding
and opportunities.
She also called for the
‘implementation of rhetoric’,
making governments accountable,
and for greater investment in
youth capacity. In referring to the
inconsistent messaging towards
young people, she gave the example
that at ‘age 18 we are able to fight
in the military, but we cannot
access contraception.’ This has
been, because policy is informed
by theological beliefs and is not
evidenced-based. And we have not
participated in the development of
that curriculum.
She noted that the Caribbean
governmental meeting has adopted
evidenced-based sexual health in
informing policy and services and
added ‘We expect to be at the table
with you’.
Jaime Sepulveda from the
Gates Foundation called for
a quantification of the effects
of prevention globally. He
advocated for combination
prevention strategies to accompany
combination therapy and increased
funds for a full range of prevention
options. He affirmed that
prevention was cost-effective and
cost-saving. He noted the need to
address the integration of HIV and
AIDS and family planning and to,
in particular, address the need of
unwanted pregnancy. In answering
a question on the continuum of
care, he noted, ‘we cannot treat our
way out of the epidemic, we need a
combination prevention strategies’.
Alex Coutinho from Uganda
noted the achievements of a million
people on treatment, yet noted
that 69% of those who should be
on treatment are not on treatment.
He noted the need to keep parents
healthy, and to treatment as a
strategy to deal with orphans. He
claimed that treatment had already
saved 200,000 from orphanhood,
and pointed out, that of all the
alternatives for raising children we
know that, parents (we might say
mothers) are the best.
In spite of the great advance
in treatment, new HIV infections
significantly outpace the numbers
of those started on ART by a ratio
of 5 to 2 (2.5 million new infections
in comparison to 1 million on
treatment).
More women than men globally
are starting treatment, but only
12% of women have been assessed
for their own treatment needs
during pregnancy. Even this small
percentage is a significant increase
over the last two years.
He noted that the number
Mujeres Adelante Tuesday• 5 August 2008
Daily newsletter on women’s rights and HIV – Mexico City 2008
Ida Susser, Zena Stein and Marion Stevens
of infected babies born to HIV
positive mothers has been greatly
reduced by PMTCT. Mothers
receiving PMTCT, which was only
10% in 2004, is 33% in 2007.
At the same time, he called for
greater efforts to address violence
against women and sex workers. In
addressing male circumcision, he
noted the limitations of the three
research trials, which has lacked
community-based studies, which
can indicate how this possible
strategy might have a population
effect. Currently, we do not know,
and have not seen, the results of
the RCTs on a population. In
addressing messaging, he noted the
confusing negative messages and
suggested that messaging should
capture ‘how to have sex, have fun
and keep safe’.
In commenting on the
empowerment of women, he noted
that it was often just addressing
education and economic issues
– but not sexual empowerment.
Urbanised women have one level
of empowerment missing – that of
sexual empowerment. They need
this, and to have all the continuum
of sexual and reproductive health.
In answering a question about
deporting illegal immigrants from
Europe, he said that there is so
little opportunity for treatment
in Uganda that they should keep
people in the UK on treatment as
part of their contribution of the
global scale up of treatment.
And in reference to research he
noted that less than 20% of local
research findings are translated into
policy.
Jeffery Garnett presented an
interesting set of models showing
the estimated rise in the number of
people living with HIV and AIDS
around the world. In the period
1990 to 2000 the rise was very
steep, but had leveled off somewhat
everywhere. The numbers of people
living will depend on those who
survive, which will be higher with
the spread of successful treatment,
and the number of new cases. In
discussing HIV prevention, he
noted that reduction of multiple
partners is one strategy, it is also
about condoms, and it is a mistake
to see anything as a ‘magic bullet’.
Later in the day, there were a
number of sessions that in a sense
addressed some of the issues raised
in the plenary.
An abstract session had a
presentation on the female condom
and affirmed that it is the only
tool a woman can use to protect
herself from HIV. But women
need to be empowered how to use
it: like a bicyle or a cell phone or
a computer. And men need to be
familiar with the female condom
– how it looks and how to use it
together. The paper called ‘Female
condom breaks gender barriers’
described the training of trainers,
whose jobs it was to teach women
how to use the female condom –
with excellent results.
In the WNZ on Monday, the
ICW held session titled ‘Putting
women back into Gender’, which
yielded an excellent discussion on
how the language we use informs
the spectrum of policy, planning
and implementation. Gender has
been a euphemism for women.
However, this has been a term for
a range of meanings, often not
being very specific, and could leave
women invisible. At the session,
participants noted the sentiment
that lesbian women felt left out
of this equation. And how the
involvement of men needs to be
carefully negotiated and crafted in
the realm of gender programming.
Programming on gender needs to
always work for women and the
tools of gender analysis are very
useful. But do not loose women
in this activity of gender. There
is a need to be specific about who
we are and what we want. It was
also noted that, for example, male
circumcision programmes need to
work for women. The result that is
done on male circumcision needs
to reflect the inter-connectness of
the world, ‘humans are not lab rats’
– the individual protection needs to
be translated and understood if it
can be applied to a community.
And later in the afternoon a
skills building workshop was held
on ‘Reproductive choice and HIV
and AIDS’ by Ipas and the Health
Systems Trust. It was the first ever
session at an IAS conference to
address the issues of abortion and
HIV and AIDS. In addressing
a human rights framework, the
session reviewed international
agreements and worked on
advocacy strategies to articulate
these issues. The facilitators made
it clear that women have the right
to have the outcome of a choice
to a healthy pregnancy and baby,
or to choose to have an abortion.
Even in instances where abortion
is not legal, women have the right
to have post-abortion care. This
is increasingly important in cases
where HIV positive women have
chosen to have an illegal unsafe
abortion and could seriously risk
their lives.
…because
policy is
informed by
theological
beliefs and is
not evidencedbased…
2 Tuesday • 5 August 2008
News from the Global Village…
All Women, All Rights
International Women’s March:
Responding to the HIV and AIDS
Epidemic
Time and Place: August 5th, 5 pm, Hemiciclo
a Juarez (Metro Hidalgo) to the Zocalo
The International Women’s March is organized by the Alliance
for Gender Justice AIDS 2008 to promote the rights and equality
of ALL women – women living with HIV, young women, poor
women, mothers, migrants, rural women, lesbians, sex workers,
etc. Faced with a lack of international action on women and HIV,
we are marching to remind the world that HIV is an issue that
affects all women.
…For women in developing countries, access to education,
information, worthy work and health services adequate to our
needs is a challenge. This increases our dependence on men,
increases the violation of our most basic rights, and increases
our vulnerability to all kinds of violence. We need to organize
and prepare ourselves to wield the power necessary to demand
and defend our rights. – Arely Cano, ICW Nicaragua.
All Women, All Rights! is an international call for the
recognition that all women need to be able to exercise their basic
civil, economic, and cultural, rights. Only by promoting – and
ultimately achieving – these rights and equality can we stop HIV
from infecting women at such frightening speed.
For more information about media at the March, contact
Lourdes Gomes: 22 57 00 75 / 044 55 54 16 46 97 (cell) or
Laura Viadas: 55 56 77 38 01
News from the margins… Luisa Orza and Sue O’Sullivan
New visions and
actions to address HIV
and gender-based
violence…
The recognition that sexual violence and
rape are significant factors in the growth of the
HIV pandemic, especially in areas of war or civil
unrest, has gained momentum over the last
6 years. In this shared ICW-ATHENA satellite,
Anne-Christine d’Adesky from Athena and WEACTx
brought together a panel of activists and
advocates in the area of HIV and gender-based
violence to examine some of the difficulties
and possibilities in responding to this
‘double epidemic’.
The session was opened by Patricia Perez,
Nobel Peace Prize nominee from ICW Latina,
who introduced the ICW Peace Campaign,
asserting that human rights denials of all
kinds constitute forms of violence. Dorothy
Onyango, co-chair of ICW International
Steering Committee from Kenya, spoke about
the need for women to know their rights in
order to claim them.
Nduku Kilonzo from the Liverpool VCT
Care and Treatment in Kenya then spoke
about in persuasive detail about the need for
closer engagement between the medical and
legal sectors in post-rape care and redress. At
best, medical and legal frameworks operate
in parallel, at worst, they can be completely
divergent. An integrated perspective and
approach is called for, which includes, for
instance, common training approaches for
health and legal service providers.
Richard Pearshouse from the Canadian
HIV/AIDS Legal Network spoke about the
limited role the law can play in the response
to HIV and AIDS. While ‘impotent’ to provide
prevention, treatment and care, law can
address human rights abuses that fuel and
drive the epidemic. Examples of successful
legislation, especially from countries within the
same region, can provide effective leverage for
advocacy.
Lynne Lucy from HEAL Africa in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
emphasised that raped women are survivors
seeking solidarity from the global community
and not victims, seeking our pity. She spoke
personally about the horrendous scale of rape
and sexual violence in the DRC. Although
the majority of rapes and attacks are carried
out by soldiers, she reminded us that 26% of
reported cases are perpetrated at the family
or community level. She called for a zero
tolerance response to sexual violence at
all levels.
Taking the different strands of the
discussion, Anne-Christine d’Adesky
highlighted the centrality of the trauma
experienced by rape survivors, often
perpetuated by the services which intend
to help them. With every step of the way,
the experience may be re-lived. Community
advocates, she suggested, could be best
placed to respond with the necessary
psycho-social care and access to medical and
legal redress.
Luisa and Sue are from ICW.
Tuesday • 5 August 2008 3
4 Tuesday • 5 August 2008
HIV—however, women often cannot
negotiate condom use. It is unclear
how the gendered dynamics of sex
will play out in a courtroom, and
if and how courts will take these
factors into consideration.
Fourth, laws criminalizing HIV
transmission will be reinforced
by already existing laws, which
discriminate based on sex and
gender. For example, in countries
which do not acknowledge martial
rape, women are always seen to
have consented to sex with their
husbands. In a country where HIV
is criminalized and marital rape is
not recognized, the husband could
always use the defence of consent to
defend himself against his wife.
Finally, putting women in jail
has a grave impact on families.
Women are the primary caretakers
and providers for the majority
of households. When women
‘disappear’, it is girls that will have
to replace them with likely negative
effects, such as dropping out of
school. Putting women and mothers
in jail also worsens the situation
for orphans.
Criminalization of HIV does
not advance a rights-based approach
to public health. To the contrary,
criminalization of HIV detracts from
progress made to respect the rights
of people living with HIV, and to end
stigma and discrimination.
Aziza is from ICW.
Criminalization of HIV
transmission refers to the use
of criminal law to address HIV
transmission. Criminalization of
HIV and AIDS has taken two
main forms – through HIV specific
criminal transmission laws and
through general criminal laws
applied to HIV transmission. Some
countries not only criminalize the
transmission of HIV, but go as far as
to criminalize exposure to HIV (even
in cases where no actual transmission
takes place). This article will
highlight some of the main critiques
of the criminalization framework
both generally and with specific
regard to women and girls.
There are several general
critiques of criminalization laws.
First, criminalization increases
stigma for people living with HIV
and AIDS. The use of a criminal
law framework to address the issue
of transmission contributes to an
unfounded notion that HIV positive
people intentionally and recklessly
transmit HIV. Alongside the laws
themselves, media hysteria and public
discourse about people living with
HIV and AIDS as criminals will be
further stigmatizing.
Second, criminalization laws
are unclear and, therefore, will be
left open to the interpretation by
misinformed courts. For example,
how will consent play a part in
determining guilt? Does one’s
knowledge of their HIV status
have to be actual, or can a person
be found guilty of transmission if
they ‘should have known’ they were
‘guilty’? This question also leads
to the related issue of how high
prevalence (and often marginalized)
groups will interface with the law?
Will members of marginalized
groups, who are already marginalized
by the law, now find themselves
vulnerable to yet another form of
criminal prosecution?
Women will have a more
nuanced interaction with
criminalization of HIV. Firstly, such
laws criminalize mother-to-child
transmission of HIV. Mothers are
often made into criminals for having
HIV positive children in resource
poor settings, where they would have
no access to PMTCT.
Second, routine HIV testing of
women leads to the assumption that
women know their HIV status. If a
woman does not disclose her HIV
status to her partner, due to fear of
violence, for example, her partner
could use the law to blame her for
infecting him with HIV. This point
also speaks to men’s greater access
to legal services and greater legal
literacy, which results in lopsided
access to the ‘protections’ awarded by
the law.
Third, and related, the use of
condoms is a potential defence for
women prosecuted for transmitting
…criminalization
laws are unclear
and … left
open to the
interpretation
of misinformed
courts…
…criminalization
of HIV does
not advance a
rights-based
approach to
public health…
Women’s Realities…
The Impact of Criminalization
on Women and Girls
Aziza Ahmed
Women’s Voices…
YWCA calls for women’s leadership
The theme for the International AIDS
Conference – Universal Action Now
– emphasises the need for continued
vigilance on the part of all stakeholders
at the global, national, regional and local
levels to ensure the provide for Universal
Access by 2010 is achieved. The World
YWCA, participating at the conference,
is advocating for a clear focus on what
universal action means for women
and girls.
Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General
Secretary of the World YWCA, comments
that
…we must ensure women and girls
have the information and resources
they need to protect themselves…
governments must invest in sexual and
reproductive health and HIV education
to ensure the prevalence continues to
decline…
The World YWCA has extensive
expertise on HIV and AIDS with YWCAs
in over 70 countries, implementing
programmes on sexual and reproductive
health and HIV. This grassroots experience
positions the YWCA as a vital partner in the
global response to AIDS.
Responding to the release of the
UNAIDS 2008 Report on the global
AIDS Epidemic, indicating that the
percentage of pregnant women receiving
antiretroviral drugs to prevent motherto-
child-transmission increased from 14%
in 2005 to 33% in 2007, Sophie Dilmitis,
World YWCA HIV and AIDS coordinator,
comments that
…although this news is uplifting, the
World YWCA continues to advocate
for PMTCT programmes to be revised
and to ensure mothers are not treated
as vessels and vectors, but that though
preventing transmission – the women
is also kept alive.
To ensure Universal Action Now,
we believe that women’s leadership
is essential. Thus, the World YWCA is
calling on government, international
organisations, civil society and corporate
sector to:
1. Invest in women and girls
Investing in women and girls means
providing quality information on sexual and
reproductive health. Young women are 1.6
times more likely to be living with HIV, than
young men. In 2007, 40% of young males
and only 36% of young females had accurate
HIV knowledge – yet, the Universal Access
target for HIV knowledge among youth is
95% by 2010.
Investment also means providing
adequate, accessible and flexible financial
resources to communities in ways that
empower women and reduce gender
inequality.
2. Ensure the safety and security of
women and girls
As long as women in their households,
communities, schools and nations remain
vulnerable to sexual and gender-based
violence, they remain vulnerable to
contracting HIV.
Preventing violence is in itself HIV
prevention.
3. End stigma and discrimination
After 25 years of HIV, stigma and
discrimination continue to drive the
pandemic. Today, over 70 countries
still impose some form of HIV-specific
restriction on entry and residency for
people living with HIV.
Such violations of human rights must be
eliminated.
Advocating for solutions to the many
challenges women and girls are facing in
the context of HIV and AIDS, Susan Brennan,
World YWCA President, emphasises that
…reducing gender inequality is a crucial
step in reversing the HIV epidemic…civil
society and women’s organisations, like
the YWCA, must continue to challenge
gender roles and cultural practices that
put women and girls at risk.
Sylvie is the Communication Assistant of
the World YWCA.
Tuesday, 5 August
07:00-08:30, Skills Building Room 1
Scaling Up an Effective Response to Violence against
Women and Girls: Case Studies, Promising Practices and
Recommendations for Achieving Zero Tolerance
07:00-08:30, Skills Building Room 8
Raising Women’s Voices from the Margins: A Progressive
Platform for the U.S. Global AIDS Response in PEPFAR II
11:00-12:30, Session Room 5
Prevention Programs with Female Sex Workers
11:00-12:30, Session Room 11
Women’s Rights Equal Women’s Lives: Violence Against Women
and HIV
11:00-12:30, Skills Building Room 6
Taking Into Account Gender Implications in Addressing the AIDS
Epidemic – A Focus on Prevention
14:30-15:30, Global Village Session Room 1
Mobilizing Men for Gender Equality: A Dialogue About
Accountability, Principles and Strategies
16:30-17:30, Community Dialogue Space in Global Village
Partnerships and Strategies for Holding Governments
Accountable for Reproductive Rights Violations of People Living
with HIV/AIDS
16:30-18:30, Session Room 2
Who is Right and Who is Wrong – Putting the Right Back into
Sexual and Reproductive Rights
17:45-18:45, Global Village Session Room 2
PMTCT vs. Full ART for Pregnant Women. Which is the Most
Effective and Responsible Approach to Saving Lives and
Preventing Further Transmission?
18:30-20:30, Skills Building Room 2
Linking Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV
18:30-20:30, Skills Building Room 4
Macroeconomic Policy and the Feminization of the AIDS
Epidemic: Film Screening of “Now or Never” and Discussion
UPCOMING
EVENTS
Tuesday • 5 August 2008 5
Sylvie Jacquat
Recent research evidence
has shown ‘that male
circumcision is efficacious in
reducing sexual transmission of
HIV from women to men’1. While
this data is welcome in increasing
our prevention strategies in
addressing HIV, like any other
prevention strategy this one
must integrate efforts to advance
women’s rights.
As women continue to be
at the epicentre of the HIV and
AIDS epidemic, especially in
sub-Saharan Africa, it imperative
that male circumcision be seen as
complementary to other ways of
reducing risk of HIV infection,
and not as a ‘magic bullet’ for HIV
prevention.
While the research shows
that male circumcision is a
viable strategy for the prevention
of heterosexual transmission
in men, it does not provide
complete protection against HIV
infection for women or for men.
Circumcised men can still become
infected with the virus and, if
HIV-positive, can infect their
sexual partners, and consistent
condom use remains the most
effective tool for HIV prevention.
The Women Won’t Wait
campaign urges attention to
essential factors as part of scalingup
male circumcision:
• There is insufficient
data to show whether male
circumcision, without condom
use, results in a direct reduction
of transmission from HIVpositive
men to women.
• The extent to which male
circumcision will lead to risk
compensation (i.e., circumcised
men and their sexual
partners engaging in riskier
sex behaviour, because of
misinformation or a false sense
of protection) is unknown.
Risk compensation may
compromise women’s ability to
negotiate conditions of sex (if
and when sex happens, condom
use, etc) and increase genderbased
violence.
• The positioning of male
circumcision, as reducing
transmission from women
to men, may perpetuate or
reinforce perception of women
as vectors or transmitters of
disease and may in turn lead
to increased gender-based
violence or other gender-based
discrimination. Prevention
strategies for both men and
women must be invested in
so that these are available,
accessible, affordable and of high quality. There is
already a gap between prevention strategies for men
and women; and a scaled up roll out of MC must not
widen this gap. Women controlled prevention methods
including female condoms, must be made available with
equal commitment and vigour.
While resources devoted to male circumcision seem
to be growing, proven HIV prevention methods,
like the female condom for women continue to be
under resourced. Equal and adequate funding for
male and female prevention technologies is essential.
These include microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis
and vaccines, as well as structural and behavioral
interventions to reduce women’s risk of HIV infection.
In moving forward:
• Male circumcision must not be seen as a ‘magic
bullet’ for HIV prevention, but as complementary to
other ways of reducing risk of HIV infection.
• Communities, and particularly men opting for
the procedure and their partners,
require careful and balanced
information and education
materials that directly address the
need for condom use and discuss
the change in power balance
to increase women’s ability to
negotiate safe sex and condom use.
• Further research should be
conducted to clarify the risks and
benefits of male circumcision with
regard to HIV transmission from
HIV-positive men to women, for
men who have sex with men and in
the context of heterosexual
anal sex.
…consistent
condom use
remains the
most effective
tool for HIV
prevention…
Special report:
Male circumcision and women’s
6 Tuesday • 5 August 2008
Neelanjana Mukhia
En Chile mujeres VIH positivas son esterilizadas forzadamente
porque los doctores deciden que no deben tener hijos….
En Brasil el Estado decide no proveer de forma adecuada
servicios de atención de salud sexual y reproductiva a mujeres
positivas en prisión…. En México hospitales y doctores
constantemente deciden denegar servicios de atención a
mujeres VIH positivas que están embarazadas…
Historias de mujeres que ven violados sus derechos
reproductivos se repiten de Sur a Norte en la región
de América Latina. En todos los casos son doctores,
autoridades de las prisiones, esposos o comunidades
hablando por las mujeres y tomando decisiones sobre sus
cuerpos y sus vidas. Y es que como dice Niza Picasso de
ICW Latina: ‘asumen que las mujeres positivas no tenemos
derechos reproductivos por tener VIH’.
Durante mucho tiempo los derechos sexuales y
reproductivos se vincularon, sobre todo, a la prevención
del VIH/SIDA. Sin embargo, como señala Maria Antonieta
Alcalde de IPPF, hoy hay un mayor reconocimiento de la
urgencia de atender estos derechos para las mujeres que
viven con VIH.
Según cifras de ONUSIDA, 500,000 mujeres viven con VIH
en América Latina y el Caribe. La mayoría ven de alguna u
otra forma violados sus derechos reproductivos. Las distintas
convenciones internacionales de derechos humanos de las
que los países de la Región son parte, protegen el derecho
a la autonomía reproductiva, la privacidad, la dignidad, la
no-discriminación en el acceso a los servicios de salud y
otros derechos. Hace falta que los Estados traduzcan estos
compromisos en acciones concretas para que sean realmente
las mujeres quienes decidan.
Ximena is the International Advocacy Director of the Centre
for Reproductive Rights, USA.
Regional Voices
Quienes Deben Decidir Ximena Andion
• In rolling out male
circumcision, it will be
important to monitor rates
of gender-based violence, as
well as coercive sex that may
occur during the period of
wound healing/recommended
abstinence post surgery and
thereafter.
• There is a need to
strengthen resources allocated
to the integration of HIV
and AIDS and sexual and
reproductive health and rights
programming, as well as
around women’s empowerment
and gender equality. In
addition, there is a need to
ensure meaningful participation
of women, and positive women
in particular, in research; policy
development; and, programme
planning and implementation
efforts, including in relation to
male circumcision.
• Male circumcision
should never replace other
known methods of HIV
prevention and should always
be considered as part of a
comprehensive HIV prevention
package. Prevention and
treatment efforts that work (e.g.
condoms, female condoms,
post exposure prophylaxis,
diagnosis and treatment of
sexually transmitted infections
and HAART and OI treatment)
must continue to be scaled
up. Resources earmarked
for interventions to address
women’s vulnerability due
to gender inequality and to
violence must not be diverted.
1. WHO/UNAIDS (2007). Technical
Consultation, Male Circumcision and
HIV Prevention: Research Implications
for Policy and Programming.
Neelanjana is the
International Women’s Rights
Policy and Campaign Coordinator
of Action Aid.
…there is
already a
gap between
prevention
strategies
for men and
women; and a
scaled up roll
out of MC must
not widen this
gap…
Tuesday • 5 August 2008 7
is very important to assimilate those
lessons, which I propose to do.
Access to treatment will be one
of the priorities, not only limited to
HIV, but broadening to the diseases,
which impact on HIV. Another
priority will be the deployment of
resources for health, not only HIV, but
other areas, like the primary health
infrastructure. Similarly, I will focus
on the deployment of resources for,
and prioritizing the marginalized
groups issues, including MSM and
sex workers issues. Not to be seen
in isolation, I will also focus on the
particular role and position women
and children occupy.
These are some of the issues that
a rapporteur would need to take up
in the next three years. I don’t want
to predetermine the agenda on
my own. I think it is very important
to actually have consultations with
various groups to find out what they
think. Having said this, I also want to
cooperate with governments who
are trying to solve problems. It is
important that a collaborative effort is
embarked upon.
I think that one of the main issues,
which is very important now, is the
issue of sex workers and the rights
of sex workers, as opposed to the
notion of them being trafficked. There
is a very strong lobby in the United
States that includes a large number of
‘so-called’ feminist groups, who now
argue that any person who has sex for
money has to be trafficked. And they
have actually now in their definition
in the protocol on trafficking, if you
have sex for consideration of money,
then it is determined to be sex
trafficking.
It means that women, who
are adults and entering sex work
on their own volition, willingly and
by consent, are considered to be
trafficked. If trafficking is going to be
adapted to mean that, then the law
would take its course by the police
arresting these people and taking
them into custody, where they may
be put into rehabilitation homes, as in
India where there are no facilities at all
for women. That is one issue.
The other issue is that ‘socalled’
normal women are being
subjected to violence and that is not
talked about. It is not an issue that
is considered to be worthy to be
talked about in the HIV world. That is
a tragedy, because HIV is as closely
linked to violence, as health. And
if a woman becomes HIV-positive,
more violence ensues which I think
the movement has to take up. And
unfortunately, I don’t see it being
taken up in the coming period for
various reasons. It is just ignored. It
is a very critical issue that has to be
addressed with respect to women’s
right to health and prevention against
HIV and the consequences of HIV that
are being burdened upon women.
The result is that people are dying.
As Special Rapporteur, I am
not going to decide on my own
what should be the priorities. I think
there has been a large number
of developments on the issues
of HIV and health and human
rights, not only in the international
humanitarian and UN organizations,
but also because of the community
empowerment, and the way that the
HIV movement has been mobilized. It
…the
immediate
issue, that has
to be a hot
issue, is the
question of
women and
violence…
In my opinion…
Emerging hot issues
Supported by a grant from the Public Health Program
of the Open Society Institute.
Editors: Johanna Kehler jkehler@icon.co.za
E. Tyler Crone tyler.crone@gmail.com
Maria de Bruyn debruynm@ipas.org
Photography: Johanna Kehler jkehler@icon.co.za
DTP Design: Melissa Smith melissas1@telkomsa.net
Printing: Ad Libitum, Servicios Editoriales Integrales (5255)5484-8202
www.aln.org.za
www.athenanetwork.org
8 Tuesday • 5 August 2008
Anand Grover,
Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health