Gender And HIV/Aids: From Policy to
News and Information Service (London)
March 19, 2003
Posted to the web March 20, 2003
"The face of AIDS is becoming the
face of young women". This was a recent comment of the
Director of UNAIDS, Dr Peter Piot, who said that 58 per cent
of those infected with HIV in Africa are women. The
Commonwealth Secretariat and its partners continue to advocate
that the fight against the pandemic cannot be waged without
addressing the gender dimensions of prevention, mitigation,
care, treatment and support.
The impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa was
felt earliest in East Africa.
Resultant national HIV/AIDS policies and
plans, with political commitment given at the highest level,
have been able to successfully address aspects of the local
epidemic. Most of these policies and plans, conceived in the
mid-1990s, have been revised and some have included gender
policies and strategies, but member states in this region have
requested support to translate policies into action, and to
integrate good practice back into policies.
Senior policy-makers, practitioners and
development partners who are tasked with developing
gender-sensitive policies and programmes on HIV/AIDS will
attend a regional workshop in Arusha, United Republic of
Tanzania, from 24 to 26 March 2003. The workshop aims to
assist countries in the region to share experiences and
strengthen their national response to HIV/AIDS through the
incorporation of gender sensitive principles into national
HIV/AIDS policies and practices.
The Secretariat's Social Transformation
Programmes Division, in collaboration with UNIFEM and the
Commonwealth Regional Health Community Secretariat for East,
Central and Southern Africa, will host the workshop.
Highlighting the integral importance of gender as part of a
planning framework for dealing with HIV/AIDS is a priority for
all three organisations, in the light of the rise in the
numbers of women affected by and infected with HIV/AIDS.
Participants will learn by sharing
experiences on mainstreaming gender in multisectoral HIV/AIDS
national policies and programmes, and identify obstacles and
opportunities to translate policies into practice.
Strategies will be identified to
integrate good practice and experience in the field back into
policy frameworks. Participants will develop recommendations
for further national and regional action.