ICW was invited by WHO to take part in a panel presentation to mark International Women's Day in Geneva on 8th March 2004. Ludfine Anyongo, ICW member from Kenya, spoke of experiences from E Africa and Alice Welbourn, ICW Chair, spoke of the challenges facing many HIV positive women who experience very negative attitudes from health workers.
Female genital excision is commonly practised in many parts of the world and can often be the cause of HIV infection, through the use of shared cutting instruments. The practice can cause great long-term physical as well as psychological harm.
ICW is joining with development NGO VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) to highlight the need for gender equity in the implementation of the 3x5 initiative. Under this initiative, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNAIDS aim to get 3 million people on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment by 2005. Please read more for ICW's Campaign briefing, Letter from ICW to Dr Lee of WHO and information on how to Take Action.
Many assumptions are made about women and HIV. This International Women's Day we would like to focus on 8 of the common assumptions and provide women around the world with an opportunity to learn about the reality of HIV/AIDS from the experts, HIV positive women. An unfortunate reality is that globally many of the 19 million women who are HIV positive do not know their status yet.
International Women's Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.