Released date: 08-Jul-2015
Nairobi, Kenya – The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) is thrilled to congratulate our sister network The ICW Eastern Africa (ICWEA) on their 10th anniversary celebrations being held this week in Kampala, Uganda. ICWEA was founded in 2005, to give visibility to women living with HIV in East Africa. For 10 years ICWEA has 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.
ICWEA is run by and for women living with HIV has over 5000 members and works in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. ICWEA has built a powerful voice for women living with HIV in the region and is poised for even greater impact in the years to come. Some of ICWEA’s notable achievements over the years include:
- ICWEA was an outspoken advocate defending the rights of Ugandan nurse, Rosemary Namubiru a HIV positive nurse who received disproportionate criminal charges for alleged intent to transmit HIV. ICWEA’s intervention led to a verdict of lesser charges giving the case global attention making legal experts, people living with HIV and communities engage in discussions on extreme effects of laws on criminalization of HIV;
- ICWEA has lead strong efforts in technical assistance and capacity building for country level networks in the region and engages younger and senior women living with HIV resulting in successful registrations of ICW- Kenya, ICW-Rwanda, ICW-Uganda Chapters with ICW-Tanzania being in the process of registration;
- ICWEA has accelerated demand creation through a task shifting model that addressed the disconnect between health facilities and communities by engaging policy makers, programmers, health facilities, women and their communities resulting in increased and sustained uptake of interventions for elimination of vertical transmission of HIV in Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda;
- ICWEA led the CSO’s engagement with Government of Uganda and development partners in advocacy towards access to treatment resulting an additional 193,675 people added in just over a one-year period, more than any other country in the world and contributed to Uganda’s attainment of the ‘Tipping point’ in treatment.
“ICWEA is a powerful voice for women living with HIV in the region and has set the bar high for networks of people living with HIV. We are very proud of the achievements of Lillian Mworeko, all the staff and members of ICWEA!” said Rebecca Matheson, ICW Global Director.
ICW congratulates the women of ICW Eastern Africa on their hard work and advocacy for and by women living with HIV. Best wishes for another 10 years of success and impact!
Released date: 22-May-2015
ICW is thrilled to share this news from our sisters in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We are even more excited about our future collaborations with all the amazing women in the region as we welcome you to the ICW family. We will keep you updated on our partnership moving forward as we continue to support this effort. Go ladies go!
In the past ten years, the necessity for interaction between the topics of gender violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights and the vulnerability of women to HIV has been recognized by activists from the community as well as global political leaders. The aims to put an end to the AIDS epidemic and eliminate violence against women go hand in hand and both require their place in the period following 2015 in the programme for sustainable development. In the resolution that was passed by the UN General Assembly (65/277) in June 2011, it was stated that the government-members continue to be deeply concerned that:
- on the global scale women and girls remain a more effected group; that a disproportionately high amount of responsibility for care is put upon them;
- the ability for women and girls to protect themselves from HIV on their own as before has adverse impacts: psychological factors, gender inequality including unequal legal, economic, and social situations, limited access to medical care and services in the sphere of protecting sexual and reproductive health, and also all types of discrimination and abuse, which includes sexual abuse and exploitation.
“The Eurasian Women's Network on AIDS was created so that the political declaration on the fight against HIV/AIDS and the human rights became a reality for women in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” said Svetlana Moroz, a representative of EWNA.
“These rights are related to the access to public health services, which includes reproductive health, the elimination of violence against women, and the right to be included in the political and societal discussions on which our lives and health depend.” She added.
The Eurasian Women's Network on AIDS began its story in the summer of 2013 when a group was formed by women activists from Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Georgia, and Tajikistan, who initiated the creation of a regional association of women affected by HIV. Half a year later they were supported by representatives from Moldova, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Estonia, and Belarus. In December 2013, in Tbilisi the constitutional convention of EWNA was held, in which women leaders from 11 countries from the EECA region participated. In November 2014 a strategic planning meeting took place for the years 2015-2020. Following this they reached out to ICW to request being the regional affiliate.
“We have been part of the ICW family for a long time and now we are making it official!” said Olena Stryzhak, ICW International Steering Committee Member for Europe and Central Asia. “Together we are stronger and can push forward our strategic priorities with our global sisters.”
The main strategic objectives for EWNA for the years 2015-2020:
- Develop EWNA's potential to strengthen interaction with key interested parties (inclusive of ICW) with the goal of providing equal access to services of sexual and reproductive health to women affected by HIV infection in the EECA region.
- Bolster the opposition against violence towards women affected by HIV in the EECA region. The Network's members can be individuals and legal entities.
In the future EWNA will inform partners about the procedures and structures of the organization.
For more information contact:
Svitlana Moroz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ICW and GCWA Express Concerns about the UNAIDS Strategy Process at the Recent Multi Stakeholder Meeting Geneva
Released date: 08-May-2015
During the UNAIDS Global Multi Stakeholder Consultation, April 22-23, 2015 ICW and GCWA consider women's voices and perspectives were insufficiently represented and both groups express their concerns in the intervention made by Jessica Whitbread from ICW critizising the lack of focus on women and girls in the current documents and discussions leading up to the UNAIDS 2016–2021 Strategy.
We sincerely hope that the international community will assist us in reiterating that the women and girls in all their diversity (inclusive of trans* women and those labeled female at birth) need to be at the heart of the HIV response in the upcoming UNAIDS Strategy. Please send your emails to the UNAIDS Team guiding the Strategy 2016–2020 Process expressing the need to ensure that women and girls are not left behind: Kent Bruse at BuseK@unaids.org and Chris Collins at CollinsCh@unaids.org.
“First, I want to thank Michel Sidibe for showing leadership by acknowledging the shortfalls in regards to women and girls in the current document. We also want to thank PCB member Laurel Sprague for a very moving opening speech.
Consultations are very valuable and essential to ensuring that the UNAIDS strategy is effective in achieving its ambitious goals.
However, ICW and the GCWA are deeply concerned about the complete lack of focus on women and girls in the documents and discussions in the lead up to the UNAIDS 2016-2021 strategy. Women and girls are simply missing from the discussion, missing from the targets and sub targets. History is repeating itself.
We have completely lost confidence in a process that could result in the adoption of the 90 90 90 targets and a strategy that simply and profoundly ignores the needs of women and girls – inclusive of trans* women and assigned female at birth. At this point in the HIV response it is unacceptable.
A focus on women and girls is absolutely essential to addressing the gender disparities that continue to drive the HIV epidemic. The oversight is not just problematic it is dangerous.
Women and girls – with a special emphasis on young women and adolescents must be recognized as a key population as we make up over 50% of the people living with HIV and in the African context the vast majority are women. As we know these numbers sky rocket when we look at young women and adolescent girls.
So ICW and GCWA asks you – what is UNAIDS going to do to address this complete oversight. Something must be done because we need to KEEP WOMEN ON THE AGENDA.”
Mabel Bianco (email@example.com)
Released date: 08-May-2015
The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) is excited to welcome Margaret Happy as our new Communication and Advocacy Officer of ICW Global. Margaret will start in her new position with the ICW Global Office mid-June 2015 and will be based in the Nairobi office.
Margaret is a Ugandan woman living with HIV and a mother of 3 children. She has over 15 years' demonstrated and successful experience in advocacy, resources mobilization, mainstreaming cross-cutting issues as well as strategic organizational development for efficiency and high performance for equality of women and men in realizing their personal aspirations.
Margaret has worked in Asian and African countries including Uganda, Ethiopia, East Timor and Vietnam. Margaret was working as the Sexual and Reproductive Health and rights officer at the International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa prior to starting her new role at ICW Global.
Released date: 04-May-2015
May 1, 2015
United, 22 young women HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights activists came together for the Young Women’s Strategy Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, April 28–29, 2015. During this strategic session the women from Nigeria, India, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Russia, Jamaica, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico (US) and Vietnam spent time strategizing how to strengthen a joint response to address the stigma for women living with HIV in accessing sexual and reproductive health services. Together they decided to form a global campaign under the slogan More than Our Status! Our Bodies! Our Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights! with the hashtag #DoYouSeeHIV.
“We need to work together for each other! We will be stronger and there is so much that we can learn. Jointly we cannot stand for any young woman to not have access to quality sexual and reproductive health services, including women living with HIV,” said Ugochi Egwuatu from the Generation Initiative for Women and Youth, Nigeria [who is going to say this] “We were horrified listening to the cases of health care violations such as forced and coerced sterilization of women living with HIV.” said Dinh Nga representing the Center for Creative Initiatives in Health an Population in Vietnam.
The Young Women’s Strategy Meeting is part of a 1–year funded project by the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) and the Women’s Global Network on Reproductive Rights (WGNRR). The regional ICW West Africa team has been taking the lead to develop a regional coalition that recently participated in an advocacy training and undertook a comprehensive peer driven research project to document health care violations experienced by women living with HIV in Nigeria. From now until World AIDS Day, December 1, 2015, the project will support the amazing work that the networks of women activists are doing in Nigeria and around the world.
“As a young woman living with HIV, it was so nice to be in the room. I felt empowered and like we could take on the world,” said L’Orangelis Thomas ICW’s Chapter for Young Women, Adolescents and Girls member from Puerto Rico (US).
If you’d like to find out more about the collaboration and what advocacy activities the coalition will be leading, please contact:
Released date: 28-Apr-2015
The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) is excited to welcome Florence Anam as our new Advocacy and Communications Manager. Florence will start in her new position with the ICW Global Office on 1st May, 2015 and will be based in the Nairobi office.
Florence Anam joins the Global Office as a long-standing ICW member and an experienced advocate for women’s rights. Florence has years of community engagement and international advocacy on issues including maternal health, reproductive rights, equality and social justice, and expanded economic and education access for women and girls living with HIV. She has hands-on skills working in collaboration with partners to strengthen public, private, and community-based responses to HIV through advocacy and communication as well as program design, implementation, evaluation and documentation.
Prior to starting her new position with ICW, Florence has served as the Advocacy and Communications Officer at the National Empowerment Network of PLHIV in Kenya (NEPHAK) where she managed the advocacy portfolio and community heath engagement activities as the liaison between communities and MOH. Florence is a member of the national Global Fund HIV/ICC as well as a member of various regional and national Technical Working Groups representing communities.
We are thrilled to welcome such a seasoned and enthusiastic advocate as Florence Anam and look forward to working together to continue to serve and promote our community.
Released date: 13-Apr-2015
ICW joins the global community in expressing our horror and sadness at the heartbreaking murders that took place in Garissa, Kenya and the continued insecurity facing Kenya at this difficult time.
As a Global Women’s rights organization with thousands of members across the globe, we join regional and global voices in condemning this heinous act of terrorism that has left 147 innocent civilians, promising young leaders dead. ICW’s global office headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya and this tragedy has hit particularly close to home for many of our staff and for our sisters in ICW Kenya.
We join the world in mourning the victims, many of whom were students pursuing an education in the pursuit of a better life for themselves and their loved ones. They represented a brighter future for a region that has seen too much violence for far too long. We express sincere sympathy and solidarity with the victims’ parents, families and friends, the survivors who witnessed this vicious attack, and all the Kenyan people in the aftermath of the terror attack at Garissa University College.
This act of violence has no justification and like all other forms of violence must be condemned. We must stand together in unity and solidarity against fundamentalist extremism that threatens our way of life, our humanity and have no place in this world.
In the spirit of #WeAreOne that emerged following the Westgate tragedy in 2013, we call for a consultative process to be instituted by the Kenyan government involving citizens; men, women and young people in defining a common vision for security in Kenya. A vision that we hope will be shaped by the tenets of human security and underpinned by the rule of law. We trust that the spirit of humanity that has been expressed locally will be sustained as efforts evolve to deal with fundamentalisms and extremisms in the region and bring back safety and security to our communities.
Our thoughts and sympathies are with those who have lost loved ones. We wish a speedy recovery for those injured and peace of mind for those who've been traumatized and deeply affected by these events.
For more information, please contact: ICW firstname.lastname@example.org
Released date: 02-Feb-2015
Living Positive Victoria and Positive Women Victoria join together in partnership to present: LOVE Positive Women 2015, a grassroots gesture of love for Valentine’s Day for the community of women living with HIV.
Originally an initiative of ICW (International Community of Women Living with HIV) and Visual AIDS (NYC), artist, Director of Globally Aware and Visual AIDS online curator in residence for February, Kim Davis, will lead women as artist in residence in the making of Valentines for the community of women living with HIV around the world.
“The Valentine’s Day Cards we will be making go far beyond the notion of romantic love, and speak to community love and social justice. We will be remembering and cherishing all the fabulous positive women wherever they are around the world”, says Kim Davis. “We will be able to share our Valentine’s Day Cards through the web and social media in an act of solidarity and love for Positive Women everywhere.”
There will be a Valentines creating workshop with morning tea for women attending, with work created being displayed online and via social media, sharing the love with the fabulous women around the world who are living with HIV.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Living Positive Victoria on this event and showing solidarity and love for the community of women living with HIV everywhere around the world. We may be separated by distance and diversity of cultures, but we are united by love for each other and all people who are affected by HIV and AIDS”, says Suzy Malhotra, Health Promotion Manager, Living Positive Victoria.
LOVE Positive Women will be held on Saturday 7, February from (9.45am grab a cuppa) 10am–2pm at Docklands. For more information and to register your attendance please call 03 9863 8747.