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March 2015 snapshot
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March 2015

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ICW Updates

Over 20 ICW members and staff participated in the 59th Commission on the Status of Women. We were proudly represented at our 4 side events, 10 panel presentations, over 20 unique of stakeholder meetings, and more than 35 sessions, as well as around the streets of NYC during the International Women’s Day March. In addition to this we distributed the materials to our partners and country delegates, including the First Lady of Kenya, and shared pictures of people wearing the t-shirts and pins on social media. The entire report to be released shortly on the ICW website: www.iamicw.org

Post 2015 Engagement at UN Headquarters in NYC: ICW participated in the Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations focusing on goals, targets, and indicators in NYC the week of March 23 – 27th. ICW Member Florence Anam and Global Staff Rachel Oostendorp continued ICW’s advocacy for the inclusion of issues impacting women living with HIV within the new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The intergovernmental negotiations on Post-2015 will continue through July and the new SDGs will be announced in September of this year

Global Fund hosted a Board Meeting where a number of ICW members participated including our Global Fund Coordinator Maurine Murenga. The 33rd Global Fund board meeting saw the coming in of Norbert Hauser, a former Member of Parliament and international auditor from Germany, as its new Chair and Aida Kurtovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina as Vice-Chair. Both began serving a two-year term after the adjournment of the 33rd board meeting. The meeting also saw decisions made on Global fund’s ability to fund other co-infections and co-morbidities related to HIV such as Hepatitis C and Cancer. Global Fund also announced the development of its new strategy that should be out by 2016.

ICW had a team of 8 that marched in the International Women’s Day March on March 8th. During the march we wore the “LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN” t-shirts, which made us the focus of social media and individual photos.

ICW participated in the UNAIDS End Review Agenda for Women, Girls, Gender Equality & HIV during CSW59 on Thursday, March 12th. Together with members of World YWCA, ATHENA, GESTOS and other partners we reviewed the Agenda as a tool and talked about the successes, challenges and dreams for the future. It was noted that participation in the room was low, and we need commitments from our partners to ensure that women and HIV are on the agenda and prioritized moving forward. 

The Positive Women in the Ukraine hosted a session at CSW 59 titled – One Step Back? Positive Women Speak About Beijing and Coping with Challenges to Women’s Health in Times of Conflict on March 12th. In this session they reminded participants of the brutalities of war and highlighted the fact that there are stock outs of ARVs, lack of social supports, and increasing numbers of women and girls contracting HIV in the country. They call on governments and the international community to help support them at this time.

ICW partnered with ATHENA, Link Up, AIDS Alliance, AIDS Legal Network and Access Chapter 2 for the second year in a row to host a session at CSW59 titled From Criminalization to Agency: African Women’s Voice on HIV and Human Rights on March 12th. This dynamic and interactive dialogue featured the voiced of women from Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria and other places around the world talking about the Beijing Declaration 20 years later. We called for a stronger united movement where the rights of all women in all our diversity are respected equally. Aminat Alli talked specifically about some of the work that ICW West Africa has been doing in Nigeria with WGNRR to link the SRHR and HIV movements.

ICW partnered with Visual AIDS and the Jane Mitchell Foundation to host a WERRRKSHOP titled My Body! My Rights! Intergenerational Banner Making Workshop on Friday March 13in NYC. This workshop had 40 participants that jointly collaborated to create banners with messages that spoke to the power of women and reproductive justice. 

These powerful banners were then carried to other events through out the week and will live in the ICW office for future events. Jointly 5 banners pieces were created with messaging that spoke to the collective power of women, reproductive justice, and reminders that all communities are impacted by HIV.

My Womb! My Decision! Reproductive Justice and Activism was a collaborative public event at Cooper Union with the Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE) in NYC during CSW on Monday, March 16th. In this session a panel of Justus Eisfeld (GATE), Marama Pala (ICW/Global Indigenous Working Group on HIV), Teresia Njoki Otieno (ICW), Karen Stamm, Co-founder of Committee to End Sterilization Abuse (CESA) and moderated by Jessica Whitbread (ICW) engaged in a community dialogue to discuss cross movement experiences with reproductive justice with audience members. This event was at the same time as a dynamic presentation at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada titled Non-Negotiable. My Body! My Rights!: A dialogue on resistance and regulation in the daily lives of women living with HIV.

Teresia Njoki Otieno spoke on the High Level Session: Realizing the rights of marginalized and disadvantaged women and girls. The panel highlighted ways in which particular groups of women are tackling multiple forms of discrimination and working toward change through advocacy, awareness raising, and interventions. Teresia spoke to a packed room that was also attended by many government representatives.

ICW co-hosted a session in the UN Building on March 18th during CSW that further drove our agenda of sexual and reproductive health and rights for women living with HIV. This session titled Forced and Coerced Sterilization: A global violation of the human rights of marginalized women and transgender peoplefeatured panel moderator: Malayah Harper, Chief, Gender Equality and Diversity Division, UNAIDS with panelists included: Teresia Njoki Otieno, ICW, Justus Eisfeld, GATE, Andrea Parra, Action Program for Equality and Social Inclusion (PAIIS), Camila Gianella, Centre on Law & Social Transformation, and Lydia Guterman, past manager of the Campaign to Stop Torture in Healthcare. Advocates working on issues of forced and coerced sterilization and forced contraception have long recognized a need to break down the silos of groups working to end this practice and build solidarity among populations of women experiencing forced and coerced sterilization with the goal of sharing strategies and sparking collaborative efforts. There is an urgent need to gather and address the lack of progress on ending this practice in the light of global awareness of the problem impacting diverse communities of women and to scale-up efforts to address this critical human rights violation

UNAIDS hosted a Strategy Consultation Meeting in NYC which was attended by Jessica Whitbread and L’Orangelis Thomas (CYWAG). ICW was vocal about the need for women and girls to be at the forefront of the HIV response and UNAIDS needs to take a bold stance on human rights and create a clear plan of action with allocated resources.

UNAIDS hosted a Breakfast Session: Fast-tracking the end of AIDS among Women and Girls. “Stock take on where we are and the way forward on HIV, SRHR and the Means of Implementation” where Marama Pala spoke about the leadership of women living with HIV and the importance of women and HIV being included in the SDGs.

Global Fund had a Community Consultation was attended by Marama Pala, Olena Stryzak, Lillian Mworeko, and Lydia Mungherera, who represented three different Global Fund regions, inclusive of the Global voice through the ICW International Steering Committee Members. The five strategic goals were briefly discussed with emphasis on the indicators and the outcomes that were analysed and feedback was given.

ICW in Action

This month the Members Advocacy Workshop focused on TB and HIV co-infection in women. ICW members and staff participated in this workshop led by Annabel Baddeley from the World Health Organization. Following this workshop ICW released a statement for World TB Day on March 24th. For more information please contact Jessica at communityrelations@iamicw.org

ICW launched its weekly Global Fund Newsletter updates during the month of March. These updates are so that ICW members in all regions can have the most up to date information on Global Fund processes and

In The Media

ICW women

Get Involved!

ICW Members Advocacy Working Group call

13th,May, 2015 will be an update on the advocacy initiatives that ICW has been involved with in the first quarter. This includes CSW, Post 2015 engagement, ICPD, Global Fund and UNAIDS advocating. Please join us at 8am (NYC)/ 3pm (Nairobi). To join the call please contact Velvine at admin@iamicw.com

ICW Members Advocacy Working Group 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

IAS Pathogens Conference 2015 in Vancouver, Canada

Register by May 7th to avoid late fees. http://www.ias2015.org/

This Month's Profile

Name: Helena Nangombe

Region: Southern Africa (Namibia)

What She Does: I am a women living with HIV and advocator who wants to make sure the world that women are capable of changing the world and make is safer place for all. 

Who She Is: Advocating for young women and girls living with HIV. I am a wife and mother who like to travel and work in the community.

Why is ICW important: ICW is a space for women living with HIV to make sure that their voice are gone out and heard, it is space for us to understand each other. ICW has been advocating the women to start gaining equal rights and opportunities for women, and allowing women to have control over their lives and bodies. At a time when women are sexualized and objectified in so many cultures, feminism is also about empowering women and young girls, it has really opened doors to women to get in the space and have a say. Most women were part of force sterilization, which is not fair for women because i might be HIV+ but still have full right to my body.

You know ICW gave me the power to start the newly born network for young women and girls it is under registration under the ministry of health in Namibia called the Young women's Empowerment Network (YMEN).

ICW women