3. Advocacy and awareness raising

The Division for Gender Equality organizes advocacy events in collaboration with stakeholders and UN bodies to promote gender transformative approaches to HIV and AIDS prevention and care.

Within the framework of the Fifty-Third Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, UNESCO co-sponsored a side-event entitled “Action Agenda on Caregiving in the Context of HIV/AIDS” along with: the Permanent Mission of Estonia to the UN and UNIFEM (Organizers) and the CIRDDOC (Nigeria), CORDAID (Netherlands), Gender Links/GEMSA, GROOTS International, HelpAge International, Huairou Commission, ILO, International Women’s Health Coalition, Sonke Gender Justice, UNAIDS/Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, VSO International, World YWCA (Co-organizers).

The following issues were discussed: 

  • key issues, strategies and entry points for those on the front-line of care-giving, such as caregivers themselves or their networks, to fully engage as key participants in the formation of the national response and the decision-making processes that affect them;
  • efforts taken to change deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men within the family and society;
  •  the establishment of innovative mechanisms to reduce women’s disproportionate burden of care in the context of HIV and AIDS, emphasizing different forms of support for caregivers as well as national strategies.

Also, UNESCO and the SSRC, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), launched a new online forum on HIV, AIDS culture and gender. The online forum precedes the volume entitled “The Fourth Wave: Violence, Gender, Culture & HIV in the 21st Century” bringing together research by nearly 30 accomplished authors, senior policy makers and young scholars,  and addresses the questions of why and how the AIDS pandemic has become increasingly “feminized.”  It is hoped that a conversation is initiated among practitioners, policymakers and scholars on why the responses to the epidemic appear to be failing women.


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