In addition to being more physiologically and socially vulnerable to infection, women also disproportionately suffer the epidemic’s negative effects. As the primary caregivers in Africa and other regions, women have seen their household and community burdens grow as a result of HIV, often compromising their health, their ability to generate income, and other markers of well-being. Women account for two thirds of all caregivers for people living with HIV in Africa (Secretary-General’s Task Force, 2004).
Women who are widowed as a result of HIV are at high risk of becoming destitute as a result of legal regimes that fail to recognize or protect women’s right to inherit property.
Measures to expand women’s economic opportunities
Among low-income women in Africa, those having some type of formal or informal work are less likely to die than those who lack work. Accordingly, increasing women’s financial options helps to mitigate some of the epidemic’s most harmful effects. Microfinance initiatives are frequently cited as a possible means to empower women by increasing their economic independence. A randomized controlled trial of a microfinance initiative in the Philippines recently found that access to a microsavings account improved women’s decision-making within the household, enhanced their self-perception of savings behaviour, and positively affected actual consumption of durable goods.
In one of the most extensive studies of womenfocused microfinance initiatives, researchers examined the impact of an intervention that combined microfinance with participatory
training on HIV infection, gender norms, domestic violence, and sexuality. Although no impact on HIV incidence was observed, the combined microfinance initiative was associated
with a reduction of more than half of physical and sexual violence by an intimate partner. The study also found significant improvements across a broad range of qualitative indicators of
To make microfinance feasible, initiatives should address transport and literacy barriers that many women confront in accessing financial assistance. In addition, microfinance programmes should include community-based work with men, to address traditional gender norms and the resistance of some men to women-focused financial assistance.
The latest from the GCWA
6 Jun, 2014|
Did you know… That a new development framework of global priorities is being developed? This provides us all, as women’s rights, gender equality and HIV advocates with an opportunity to make sure these issues are among the global priorities. Global goals will be set… The development framework will be composed of a series of Sustainable Development Goals, also known as SDGs.
26 May, 2014|
Submissions for sessions to run in the WNZ The Women’s Networking Zone (WNZ) is calling for submissions for interested individuals and organisations to run sessions in the WNZ at AIDS 2014. Special consideration goes to sessions that are for and by women living with HIV and young women. Submissions are due on May 31st 2014. To submit your application visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QNXB5WV Submission Process All proposals will be reviewed by the program committee.
15 Apr, 2014|
With the 2014 International AIDS Conference is around the corner, let's make sure that the issues of women and AIDS, including gender equality and SRHR, are reflected in the program me. Visit www.aids2014.org to submit a late-breaker abstract.
6 Sep, 2013|
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) welcomes the United Nations Secretary General's report, "A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015".
6 Sep, 2013|
27 Aug, 2013|
27 Jun, 2013|
GCWA Global Fund Update
27 Jun, 2013|
The GCWA welcomes the increasing commitment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria to women’s rights and gender equality. To access the update click here: GCWA update on Global Fund new funding model.pdf
24 May, 2013|
Positioning Gender Equality and HIV as cornerstones of the Post-2015 United Nations Development Agenda
Positioning Gender Equality and HIV as cornerstones of the Post-2015 United
20 Sep, 2012|
Women, HIV and Harm Reduction (RU)