ICW Monthly Snapshots
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March 2015 snapshot
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July 2015

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ICW Updates

ICW develops an annual work plan 2015/2016 to guide implementation of strategic plan 2014-2016. Based on the deliberations and outcome of the global staff and regional meeting held in Kampala last month, ICW staff have developed an annual work-plan for the financial year July 2015 – June 2016. In response to the needs and priorities that were identified in Kampala, some of the staff members were assigned as focal persons for the regional networks to streamline communication and enhance structured learning and sharing of information among the regions. The meeting was held with the Regional Coordinators from the 10 regions and a representative of Chapter for young women, Adolescents and girls (CYWAG). 

ICW joined Women Living with HIV in Nairobi in solidarity during Two (2) Nairobi High Court sessions on forced and coerced sterilization. The petition is a case in which five women living with HIV are seeking recourse over occurrences of forced and coerced sterilization on the basis of their HIV status. The women underwent the procedures without their informed consent within health care setting. The cases were brought forth by the documented experiences of 40 women living with HIV. Through their lawyer Mr. Allan Maleche of KELIN, the petitioners are seeking damages as well as asking for review of reproductive health guidelines to allow for more time for women to consent and make informed choice if they wished to be sterilized. On 29th July 2009 ICW request to be enjoined in the cases received rare victory when the court granted that ICW can be enjoined as the 1st interested party in petition number 606 of 2014. The application to be enjoined in the petition 205 of 2014 will be heard on 2nd November 2015. The ICW statement can be found here.

ICW Participates in the United Nations Third International Conference on Financing for Development (3rdFfD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on July 12-16, 2016. At the 3rd Conference on FfD, countries stressed the importance of nationally owned sustainable development strategies, supported by integrated national financing frameworks. Ms. Maureen Murenga, ICW Global Fund Coordinator, was among key panellist and speakers during the meeting where she urged countries to invest more vigorously in health and called upon donors to commit more money to health to accelerate achievements registered so far in the fight against Tuberculosis, HIV and Malaria.

Countries agreed on a series of bold measures to overhaul global finance practices and generate investments for tackling a range of economic, social and environmental challenges. The conference outcome was “The Addis Ababa Action Agenda” found here which provides a global framework for financing sustainable development. The agreement provides a foundation for implementing the global sustainable development agenda that world leaders are expected to adopt in New York in September 2015.

IAS Pathogens Conference 2015 in Vancouver,Canada. ICW hosted many events at the IAS Pathogens Conference in Vancouver, Canada that were inclusive to building and engaging members of the community who were both able to access the conference and those who were not. ICW Booth was inside the conference where access to information was made easy. Below are the links to all the events organized by ICW:

Monday, July 13th, Indigenous ICW Meeting
Sunday, July 19th, ICW Members and Friends Beach Picnic
Monday, July 20th, ICW Banner Making Event to prepare for the Women's Action
Tuesday, July 21st, ICW Action (Come to the banner making session to find out more).
Consultation with Medicine Patient Pool, http://www.iamicw.org/events/medicines-patent-pool-consultation-on-hiv-in-collaboration-with-the-international-community-of-women ICW, ATHENA and UN Women present: Building Bridges: Launch of the Women's Networking Zone Road to Durban

ICW in partnership with Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and supported by STOP AIDS NOW! launched the joint global campaign #DoYouSeeHIV at http://doyouseehiv.org. This campaign will be supported until the end of 2015. Please follow the girls on Twitter at @ICW_CYWAG using hashtags #DoYouSeeHIV.

ICW in Action

This month the Members Advocacy Workshop focused on the UNAIDS Strategy and how women living with HIV can be involved. The workshop was held on July 8th. Our UNAIDS PCB representatives Laurel Sprague and Angeline Chiwetani joined the workshop so as to lead a follow up discussion about the UNAIDS Strategy Process and how women living with HIV can be involved. A Google group was established to facilitate access and sharing of information about the UNAIDS Strategy and will be led by Florence Anam. To join the conversation, please contact advocacy@iamicw.org.

ICW developed and submitted abstracts for ICASA, ICAAP, and the AWID Conference in 2016.

ICW continued to release regular Global Fund updates and share them with diverse stakeholders inclusive of membership and partners. 

Regional Updates

ICW Caribbean: has had a number of meetings to support the regional development and linkages of women living with HIV in the region. Jointly a number of regional women leaders are working on the next round of the Robert Carr Networks Fund proposal. 

In Jamaica, they received a small grant to do a workshops with young women to do ‘Blogvocacy’ (Advocacy through blogging) in collaboration with the #DoYouSeeHIV campaign spearheaded by ICW and with WGNRR.

ICW Central Africa: ICW Central Africa reported that in Cameroon, stigma is still a big obstacle for HIV response and for the women in particular. As a result, majority of the women do not want to get involved in HIV related interventions. In addition, the quality of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme is not good and the programme is not decentralised. The programme is good on paper but the challenge is with its implementation. If mothers are given adequate information about the importance of PMTCT, with good follow up mechanism, it would help mothers to have healthy babies and creates an opportunity to fight again stigma. 

In addition, war is still a huge challenge in the Central Republic of Africa which has negatively affected voluntary HIV screening at the health centres. Because of war and troubles many people are not able to work effectively because they are at risk. For more information, contact Nganhale Francine on: francinenganhale@gmail.com

ICW Eastern Africa: Eastern Africa celebrated 10 years of existence on July 8, 2015. The organisation has grown into a regional advocacy network now operating in 5 East African countries with 3 country chapters fully registered and 2 others on track and with a strategy of reaching all other countries in Eastern Africa. ICWEA led members, partners and friends in celebrations to mark 10 years of advocacy and action that has resulted in resounding impact across the region. ICWEA is proud to have lifted up the voices of women living with HIV to advocate for changes that will improve their lives, taken a stand against human rights violations, and worked for social change for women living with HIV in East Africa.

ICW Europe and Central Asia: There was a national meeting supported by UNWomen in the Ukraine this month. The opportunity was used to bring together regional leaders to discuss the net steps in the strengthening of the Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS (ICW). For the first time, the region will be joining the consortium submitting the global Robert Carr Networks Fund (RCNF) proposal.

ICW North America (ICW NA) members were volunteers at the IAS Pathogens Conference in Vancouver, Canada, July 19-22, 2015. On the subject of research Tracey Conway, Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, Canada has been mentoring women for the Canadian HIV Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS) PRA study providing support and suggestions for Wave II of the first National Women's Study. Look out for Establishing the Canadian HIV Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS): operationalizing community-based research in a large national quantitative study, which has been submitted for publication as well as another on women, stress and adherence.


ICW NA has been working on a members retreat in the United States that takes place in August. The retreat promises to be an amazing opportunity for membership recruitment, sensitization, connecting and partnering with other organizations of women living with HIV in America and recruiting and supporting new leaders for ICW NA.

ICW Southern Africa: ICW Southern Africa has been at the forefront of raising awareness about the risks of cervical cancer for women living with HIV in the region, especially in the light of an emerging picture that five Southern African countries feature in the ten most effected countries globally. ICW SA has produced a regional paper and have conducted research in Swaziland. A successful report back meeting that was attended by over 30 women living with HIV to discuss the situation in Swaziland was held and the issues that the local women wanted to address were identified. Of most concern was the fact that women in Swaziland needed to go to neighbouring country South Africa in order to receive treatment, and that women living with HIV were less likely to receive government funding for treatment. A committee, including three young women, was elected to take issues forward.

Chapter for Young Women, Adolescents and Girls (CYWAG): Congratulations to CYWAG members, Janet Tatenda Bhila from Zimbabwe, Nacia Davis from Jamaica, L’Orangelis Thomas from Porto Rico, and the team from Kenya for receiving the small grants for advocacy based projects to link HIV and SRHR through the joint #DoYouSeeHIV campaign. To find out more about this campaign that CYWAG is a part of please click here:

In The Media

ICW                                                                 women

Get Involved!

ICW Members Advocacy Workshop call

10th June, 2015 will be a special presentation on Criminalization of HIV disclosure, exposure and transmission by the Canadian HIV Legal Network. Please join us at 8am (NYC)/ 3pm (Nairobi). To join the call please contact Velvine at admin@iamicw.com

Other Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, July 8th- UNAIDS PCB - Follow Up and Discussion about the UNAIDS Strategy Processes Wednesday, August 12th–Breast Feeding and HIV – Presentation and Discussion facilitated by Nicci Stein from the Teresa Group

Other Upcoming Advocacy Workshops:

Wednesday, August 12th–Breast Feeding and HIV – Presentation and Discussion facilitated by Nicci Stein from the Teresa Group

IAS Pathogens Conference 2015 in Vancouver, Canada

If you are attending please contact Jessica at communityrelations@iamicw.org to be included in the ICW activities.

ICW events include:

Sunday, July 19th
– ICW Picnic

Monday, July 20th
– My Body! My Rights! Intergenerational Community Arts Workshop

Tuesday, July 21th
- ICW ACTION on Maternal Mortality!
- Joint consultation with Medicine Patient Pool and ICW on Early Infant Diagnosis and Access to Treatment
- Women’s Networking Zone Launch – The Road to Durbin

Wednesday, July 22st
– Poster Presentation of our Early Infant Diagnosis research finding.

This Month's Profile

Name:  Michelle Benbow aka Kia Labeija

Region:  New York City, North America

What She Does:  Kia Labeija is a visual and performance artist, photographer, mixed media and vogue

Who She Is: Margaret is woman living with HIV since 2004 and a single parent of 3 children (2 boys and a girl). She is an experienced HIV activist and advocate for gender and women’s rights. Margaret has over 15 years of engagement at local, regional and global levels on issues including gender equality and equity, sexual reproductive health and rights for women and girls living with HIV, HIV legal environment, HIV programming and financing. 

Why Is ICW Important: ICW is the only global network of women and girls living with HIV. Most important, it is a family which is HIV stigma free. Together we create a critical mass which influences and creates positive change in practices, policies, legislation and programming. 

ICW                                                                 women