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
9 Nov, 2009|
WHO Women and Health. Today's evidence, tomorrow's agenda
9 Nov, 2009|
GCWA partner / women and health : WHO calls for action beyond the health sector to improve the health of girls and women
Despite considerable progress in the past decades, societies continue to fail to meet the health care needs of women at key moments of their lives, particularly in their adolescent years and in older age, a WHO report has found. Launching the report, entitled Women and health: today's evidence tomorrow's agenda, WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan called for urgent action both within the health sector and beyond to improve the health and lives of girls and women around the world, from birth to older age. "If women are denied a chance to develop their full human potential, including their p
7 Oct, 2009|
Men and Women in a marriage are expected to be faithful to each other. But is that the reality on the ground? Being faithful is just a fallacy among many men and women. Reports have shown that 40 to 60% of HIV positive persons have HIV negative spouses and these are at 10 to 12% HIV transmission risk per year (CeSSRA Public Lecture: March 6, 2009). More than 75% of Ugandans do not know their HIV status and only approximately 30% of couples have tested together.
6 Apr, 2009|
In preparation for the June UN High Level Meeting on AIDS, for the first time in the 30 year history of AIDS, women from around the world to speak to the successes, challenges, and key lessons learned. Five key priorities were identified through the consultations: 1: Inclusive and holistic prevention, treatment, care, and support for women in all of their diversity 2: Solidarity 3: Gender equality 4: Safety 5: Education, including sexuality education Documents To read a global summary of the consultation, read the global priorities.pdf Summary fact sheets regional priorities - as
1 Jan, 2008|
UNICEF Women and AIDS Report, Malaysia
1 Jan, 2007|
NAM - HIV and Women
1 Jan, 2006|
GCWA Keeping the Promise: An Agenda for Action on Women (EN)
1 Jan, 2006|
GCWA Keeping the Promise: An Agenda for Action on Women (ES)
1 Jan, 2006|
GCWA Keeping the Promise: An Agenda for Action on Women (FR)
1 Jan, 2005|
UN-IATT Resource pack on Gender and HIV/AIDS