March 8th 2016. Celebrated annually 8th March 2016, International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate women of courage, zeal and determination around the world who have played an extraordinary role in shaping the history of feminism and women’s movement. It is also a day to reflect on both our collective successes and the challenges remaining in our shared efforts to achieve gender equality at every level. This International Women’s Day ICW stands in solidarity with our sisters all over the world in demanding respect of our human rights including our rights to sexual and reproductive health.
The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) celebrates all our members for leading powerful advocacy efforts at the local, national, regional and global levels. We strengthen our commitment to advocate for consistent empowerment and respect of rights for women living with HIV in all our diversity including our sisters who do sex work, our sisters who use drugs, and our sisters who are transgender, lesbian, bisexual and queer women and from Indigenous communities.
The ICW Global Office extends special appreciation and gratitude to the ICW Regional and National Coordinators whose commitment and dedication has empowered ICW to become a stronger network and commit to support the developing ICW regions through learning and sharing together.
In the spirit of sisterhood we acknowledge the collective commitment to achieve the ICW vision of ensuring that women living with HIV are meaningfully and effectively involved in shaping policies and programs that respond to our health, economic and social needs.
This International Women’s Day we can look to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to provide an opportunity to reinvigorate our shared goals for countries to make new commitments and to honour existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights.
ICW believes this is the only way that the ambitious vision of ending AIDS by 2030 can be realized under the UNAIDS fast track strategy. We know that there is no Ending AIDS without true gender equality. We believe in the strength of our lived experience in shaping policy and programs that are responsive to our needs. We extend and amplify our commitment to support participation and engagement of women living with HIV in advocacy efforts aimed at calling for, full participation, and monitoring and evaluation that holds leaders accountable for effective implementation of the SDGs
While we fully support the achievement of all the targets under Goal 5, ICW calls for accelerated efforts to achieving the following targets and ensure universal positive health outcomes for women and girls particularly those living with HIV;
- End all forms of Discrimination.
- Eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in public and private spheres…
- Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.
- Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive rights.
- Adopt and strengthen sound policies for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.
This International Women’s Day, ICW is calling on governments, policy makers and all other stakeholders to renew their commitment for gender equality in HIV and integrated sexual and reproductive health programs and realize positive health outcomes for women and girls living with HIV.
NOTHING FOR US WITHOUT US!
Read the full statement here