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Securing Women’s Land and Property Rights. A Critical Step to Address HIV, Violence, and Food Security

Open Society Foundations, 2014

This briefing paper examines the importance of women’s land and property rights in the contexts of HIV and AIDS, violence against women, and food security. Land and property rights increase women’s autonomy—decreasing their dependence on men and entrapment in abusive relationships, enabling greater control over sexual relations, and improving their ability to produce food for themselves and their families. The report examines where and how these rights are protected under international human rights standards and offer strategies to help women effectively claim and enforce their rights.


Women out Loud - How women living with HIV will help the world end AIDS

UNAIDS, 2012

Women may make up half the world’s population, but they do not share it equally. This is especially evident when it comes to HIV. Half of all people living with HIV are women, yet many are underserved or do not know their status. Despite the many successes we have seen, women still face inequalities that will keep the AIDS response from reaching its full potential. This publication amplifies the voices of women living with HIV so that their knowledge is shared and acted upon. This is essential to achieve the 10 targets of the 2011 United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS. As this report testifies, women’s leadership, resilience and good practices to transform societies are widespread. What is needed now is stronger support for women’s full participation in the response to HIV, and better data to track progress as it relates to women. This requires a concerted effort to promote and protect the rights of women and of all people living with HIV. When women speak out, we must listen carefully, and act with solidarity and commitment to transform words into action.


Guidance note - Gender-based violence and livelihood interventions : Focus on populations of humanitarian concern in the context of HIV and AIDS

FAO, 2010 (with input from Dimitra)

This Guidance Note provides an overview of the complex interactions between GBV, HIV and AIDS and rural livelihoods, based on the available literature and findings from FAO field studies in Kenya and Uganda. The studies, conducted in humanitarian settings, focused mainly on the relationships between these issues, and on identifying the appropriate livelihood strategies to mitigate and prevent GBV, and strengthen people’s resilience.

It also gives information on how to make livelihood interventions in the agricultural sector relevant to the realities of GBV and commercial sex, and thus enhance the effectiveness of the programmatic response to both food and livelihoods insecurity and GBV, in the context of humanitarian crises and HIV.

Download the document (34 pages,  2.2 MB)

Together we must… End violence against women and girls and HIV & AIDS

A review of promising practices in addressing the intersection

UNIFEM & ActionAid, November 2009

Together We Must! represents an initial effort to draw attention to the knowledge, institutional capacity and resources needed to comprehensively address the intersection between HIV & AIDS and VAWG. The aim is to stimulate debate and collaboration among practitioners and advocates around how to identify and promote effective prevention policies and practices that can be adapted to various contexts. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) and HIV & AIDS are mutually reinforcing pandemics; the need and the opportunity for integrated approaches addressing their intersection are increasingly evident. To date, however, such strategies have not been implemented on a widespread scale. Advocates and communities working on HIV & AIDS and VAWG are just beginning to come together to explore common strategies.


Integrating gender into HIV/AIDS programmes in the health sector. Tool to improve responsiveness to women’s needs

WHO, 2009

This tool helps programme managers and health-care providers in the public and private sectors integrate gender into HIV/AIDS programmes they wish to set up, implement and evaluate so they are more responsive to women's needs. In addition to describing basic steps in gender-responsive programming, which can be applied to all HIV/AIDS programmes, the tool suggests practical actions to address key gender issues in four service delivery areas (HIV testing and counselling; Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; HIV/AIDS treatment and care; Home-based care and support for people living with HIV).

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Why Women and Girls Need an AIDS Vaccine - The Search for New and Better Prevention Options

iavi, 2009

Women’s and girls’ increased biological vulnerability to HIV infection, coupled with social and economic inequities, fuel the pandemic in resource-limited nations. This information sheet addresses some of the gender norms and inequalities that impede women’s ability to prevent HIV infection and makes the case for development of an AIDS vaccine as a powerful equity tool.


Walking the Talk - Putting women's rights at the heart of the HIV and AIDS response

ActionAid, 2009

Using research from 13 countries, this report demonstrates that gender inequalities and the persistent and systematic violation of their rights are leaving women and girls disproportionately vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. Poverty and limited access to education and information, discriminatory laws and ingrained gender inequalities all deny women and girls their rights. Gender-based violence, health systems that serve the needs of women poorly and limited participation in decision-making processes all fuel the feminisation of the HIV and AIDS epidemic.


HIV prevention with young people: The key to tackling the epidemic

UNICEF, May 2009

UNICEF UK has highlighted that insufficient attention is being given to preventing the transmission of HIV among young people under the age of 25. In a new report, UNICEF called for urgent action, stressing that prevention of HIV among young people is key to tackling the global epidemic. Statistics in the report reveal that girls and young women remain far more vulnerable to HIV infection than young men, with two-thirds of the 5.5 million 15- and 24-year-olds with HIV worldwide being women. The majority of these young people still lack comprehensive and correct information about how to prevent HIV infection, or do not have the power to act on that knowledge.

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HIV Prevention for Girls & Young Women. Country Report Cards

UNFPA, IPPF, The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS

These Report Cards are advocacy tools aimed at increasing and improving the programmatic, policy and funding actions taken on HIV prevention for girls and young women. Their key audiences are national, regional and international policy and decision-makers, and service providers. The Report Cards summarise the current situation of HIV prevention strategies and services for girls and young women ages 15-24 years in various countries. They also provide recommendations for key stakeholders to enhance action on HIV prevention strategies and services for girls and young women.

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Growing Up Info: A Newsletter

Women, Children and HIV website

The purpose of this monthly newsletter is to provide AIDS workers regular updates on knowledge, practices, initiatives, and research concerning prevention, medical and psychosocial care, treatment and support of children living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. Each issue contains a brief article about a current care and treatment topic, a case study, a news story, and links to other sites or publications.

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Gender Equality, HIV and AIDS: Challenges for the Education Sector

Oxfam GB, December 2008

This book shows that while gender inequalities in society generally, and particularly within the education sector, are driving aspects of the HIV epidemic, educational settings can be empowering and bring about change. It examines different expectations of what HIV education programmes and education settings can do to transform unequal gender relations and protect young people against HIV and AIDS and contribute to care for those affected and infected. It warns that an uncritical acceptance that education is a ‘social vaccine’ protecting young people from HIV infection can be misleading and demonstrates that, to be effective, HIV and AIDS education must be based on a sensitive understanding of social and cultural context and the complexities of young people’s lives. The book illustrates the importance of democratic learning environments informed by evidence-based policy, implemented with strong leadership for transforming deeply held values and beliefs regarding sexual behaviour and sexuality.

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Exchange on HIV/AIDS, Sexuality and Gender - Issue 4, 2008: HIV and AIDS information for young people

KIT, 2008

Behaviour change communication (BCC) entails using communication approaches and tools with a view to empowering young people with skills and capabilities to enable them promote and manage their own health and development. It also helps foster positive change in young people’s behaviour, as well as in their knowledge and attitudes, besides motivating them to collaborate with their families, educational institutions, health service providers and communities to influence the social norms and policy environments within which young people function.

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Combination Prevention in Eastern and Southern Africa

UNAIDS, November 2008

This series of briefs, published by Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), is designed to offer an overview of the key interventions needed as part of a combination prevention approach in the countries of Eastern and Southern Africa with high HIV prevalence. The briefs focus on the following 4 areas: modes of transmission, multiple concurrent partnerships, vulnerabilities of women and girls, and male circumcision. Each brief offers background information, outlines challenges to scaling-up within a combination prevention approach, and offers recommendations for action.

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The evolving contexts of AIDS and the challenges for food security and rural livelihoods

FAO (ESW), September 2008

This paper focuses on the changing context of the HIV epidemic, with the aim of generating new insights into what it means for rural societies. The paper argues that although there are signs that the epidemic is stabilizing or even declining in some highly affected countries, the socio-economic effects associated with HIV and AIDS will continue to be considerable for many years to come – and as such they require innovative, well coordinated and appropriately planned responses from the agriculture sector.


Women and HIV Testing: Policies, Practices, and the Impact on Health and Human Rights

OSI, July 2008

HIV testing has rarely been higher on the global AIDS agenda, and many governments have made commitments to scale up testing in their countries. However, critical issues regarding the testing of women have yet to be addressed. This fact sheet looks at UNAIDS and WHO guidance on testing, as well as local and international laws, and provides information on the impact of HIV testing policies on women's health and human rights. In particular, the fact sheet examines HIV testing for pregnant women and mandatory premarital testing.

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Exchange on HIV/AIDS, Sexuality and Gender - Issue 2-2008: Challenging stigma

KIT, April 2008

This issue of Exchange magazine is on HIV-related stigma, how it affects the health and well-being of people living with HIV and what can be done to reduce it. It highlights the role that people living with HIV, and the networks and organizations lead by them, can play in diminishing stigmatizing attitudes, discriminatory actions and harmful policies. After an overview article summarizing the main elements of an anti-stigma approach, examples follow of strategies taken by networks of PLWH in Ukraine, South Africa and India, as well as an HIV/AIDS programme in Ethiopia.

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2008 Report on the global AIDS epidemic

UNAIDS, July 2008

Significant gains in preventing new HIV infections are being seen in a number of countries most affected by the AIDS epidemic. The report highlights specific examples of countries which are seeing changes in sexual behaviour followed by declines in the number of new HIV infections. Findings include increasing condom use among young people with multiple partners and encouraging signs that young people are waiting longer to have sexual intercourse in some of the most heavily affected countries. However, the report also shows that despite the declines in new HIV infections the AIDS epidemic is far from over and that rates of new HIV infections are rising in many countries. AIDS also continues to be the leading cause of death in Africa.

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Children's Property Inheritance in the Context of HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe

FAO, HIV/AIDS Programme Working Paper 4, 2008

This paper investigates children's rights to property and inheritance rights as well as local people's interpretation of children's rights to property in selected communities in Zimbabwe as a case study. It analyses the impact of HIV and AIDS on children's rights to property and community responses to property grabbing. The study is an attempt to unpack the complex realities of children's rights to property on the ground. By doing so, the paper provides concrete recommendations to policy makers and development agencies on what should be done to protect and strengthen children's rights to property.

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Children’s Property and Inheritance Rights in the Context of HIV and AIDS – A documentation of children’s experiences in Zambia and Kenya

FAO, HIV/AIDS Programme Working Paper 3, 2008

This paper is based on field research conducted by two grassroots organisations – CINDIKitwe in Zambia and GROOTS Kenya in Kenya – to map out and document cases of property grabbing from children, in particular those who became orphans due to AIDS. It is intended to explore methods which grassroots organisations use or can use to document their work. The study adopted a creative and unique manner of investigating children’s issues that is to work directly with orphans and vulnerable children, not only to prepare the work plan but also to conduct the documentation exercise, i.e. by engaging the children who had lost their properties as data collectors. This study contributes to evidence building on children’s rights, HIV and AIDS, children’s livelihoods and ultimately improved interventions and responses to the crisis.

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UNIFEM – Web Portal on Gender and HIV/AIDS

UNIFEM, in collaboration with UNAIDS, has developed a comprehensive gender and HIV/AIDS web portal to provide up-to-date information on the gender dimensions of the epidemic. The site aims to promote understanding, knowledge sharing, and action on HIV/AIDS as a gender and human rights issues.

Go to the Web Portal

Orphans and vulnerable children

KIT/Safaids, Exchange on HIV/AIDS, sexuality and gender, Issue 2/2007

This issue of Exchange magazine mainly focuses on programmes that strengthen the livelihoods of children affected or infected by HIV.

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Epidemic of Inequality: Women's Rights and HIV/AIDS in Botswana & Swaziland

PHR, Physicians for Human Rights, 2007

Deeply entrenched gender inequities perpetuate the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Botswana and Swaziland, the two countries with the highest HIV prevalence in the world. The legal systems in both countries grant women lesser status than men, restricting property, inheritance and other rights. Social, economic and cultural practices create, enforce and perpetuate legalized gender inequalities and discrimination in all aspects of women’s lives. Neither country has met its obligations under international human rights law. As a result, women continue to be disproportionately vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

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Men matter! AIDS, Gender and Masculinities

SIDA & Lunds University, May 2007

This report stresses the importance of involving men as partners in HIV prevention, increasing their involvement in sexual and reproductive health and rights, and looking more closely at how the construction of gender influences the spread of HIV. It includes sections on the epidemiology of men and HIV, men at high risk, and implications for research, policy and practice. Ultimately, they conclude that there needs to be more research into the connections between men, masculinities and HIV.

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Gender Violence & HIV/AIDS Resource

AIDS Legal Network, February 2007

This resource and training manual is looking at a holistic approach in response to the links between gender violence and HIV/AIDS. The manual includes a potpourri of concepts and realities of gender, gender violence and HIV, a gendered look at prevention, treatment, support and care (of both gender violence and HIV/AIDS); and relevant legislation (including fundamental rights and freedoms). The manual aims to give insights, and to provide valuable information and resources to everyone, including trainers, facilitators, educators, about the linked pandemics of gender violence, HIV and AIDS and stigma and discrimination of the 'other'.

For more information on the manual and/or how to get a copy or to access training on the manual, please contact the AIDS Legal Network (ALN), South Africa: [email protected]

Girls and HIV - A New Epidemic in the Women of Tomorrow?

Global AIDSLink Issue 101, January/February 2007

Global AIDSLink provides insightful analysis of the latest news, information and trends in the global response to the AIDS pandemic. A bimonthly, 24-page publication by the Global Health Council, every issue contains articles and regular features addressing current international HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment issues affecting people domestically, as well as in developing countries. Researchers and activists report from the field the latest findings in their spheres.

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Women and girls living with HIV/AIDS - overview and annotated bibliography

BRIDGE Bibliography 18, 2007

BRIDGE bibliographies provide a brief overview with the key resources identified and then summarised. This Bibliography was prepared in collaboration with the International Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (ICW).

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Young children, HIV/AIDS and gender - A summary review

Bernard van Leer Foundation, August 2006

Gender discrimination and inequality is a key factor in the transmission of HIV and AIDS. Therefore, this paper argues, efforts to prevent AIDS through empowering girls and changing men's behaviour should begin in early childhood, when beliefs about gender are formed. The paper reviews evidence on the factors that contribute to the healthy development of children generally, the construction of gender and sexuality in childhood and adolescence, and indicates how gender identities and relations can make children and girls especially vulnerable to infection. It argues that children are most open to developing more positive gender identities and behaviours before the age of 8; further, it points out that children and young people may be sexually active or otherwise at risk of contracting HIV. Interventions in early childhood can teach children to adopt protective behaviours and reduce their vulnerability and risk.


The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) Issue Brief Series

Download the different issues:

Support Women Caregivers: Fight AIDS - Educate girls - fight AIDS - Stop violence against women - fight AIDS - Economic security for women fights AIDS - Increase women’s control over HIV prevention - fight AIDS

Reducing Women's and Girls' Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS by Strengthening their Property and Inheritance Rights

The ICRW, in partnership with the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA/UNAIDS) and FAO, is implementing the Reducing Women's and Girls' Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS by Strengthening their Property and Inheritance Rights grants program, referred to as Strengthening Women's Property Rights.

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Impact of HIV/AIDS on fishing communities
Policies to support livelihoods, rural development and public health

FAO, 2006

The impact of the AIDS epidemic in Africa first became apparent in a fishing village on the Ugandan shores of Lake Victoria in 1982. Since then, the vulnerability of fishing communities to HIV and AIDS has been widely overlooked. The consequence is that they have been left largely beyond the reach of prevention, care and mitigation efforts. This neglect is having devastating consequences. The aim of this policy brief is to: draw attention to the severity of HIV/AIDS among women and men in fishing communities; secure government and donor commitment to address impacts of HIV/AIDS on the fisheries sector and to reduce its effects on wider society; outline response strategies for policy-makers in fisheries, health and other sectors.

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FAO: HIV and AIDS, threats to rural development

FAO, with the UN mandate for improving nutrition and food security, sustainable agriculture and rural development, has a unique opportunity to contribute to preventing and tackling the impacts of HIV and AIDS. The pandemic is shifting from cities to rural areas. Today 95% of people living with - and dying of - HIV/AIDS are in developing countries. The overwhelming majority are the rural poor, and among them women figure disproportionately. In spite of the fact that up to 80% of the people in the most affected countries depend on agriculture for their subsistence, most of the response to the epidemic has come from the health sector.

FAO recognizes the urgent need for action to be able to respond effectively to the impacts of HIV on food security and rural livelihoods and is currently developing a comprehensive HIV strategy for the agriculture sector.

Read more on the FAO HIV/AIDS website

FAO Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools

A response to counter the impact of HIV and AIDS on children

FAO, in collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP), is developing Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools (JFFLS) in several countries. The main objective of the schools is to empower the children to handle their future, improve their livelihoods and become able agents of their own change. The JFFLS seek to institute gender equality attitudes, improve children's nutrition, agricultural knowledge, life skills and self-esteem, thereby reducing the risk of pursuing HIV-risky survival strategies.

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Act, Learn and Teach: Theatre, HIV and AIDS Toolkit for Youth in Africa

UNESCO/CCIVS, September 2006

UNESCO and the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) have developed and released a toolkit for youth in Africa on how to use theatre in HIV and AIDS education. The involvement of the community in communication processes that are participatory, inclusive, and open to debate on priority issues in ways that resonate within their socio-cultural environment, has proven to be an effective way to encourage sustainable social change. Interactive theatre, when used correctly, can be a very powerful tool for behaviour change.

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Keeping the Promise: An Agenda for Action on Women and AIDS

UNAIDS, 2006

The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS was launched by UNAIDS in 2004 to respond to the increasing feminization of the HIV epidemic and a growing concern that existing AIDS strategies did not adequately address women’s needs. A loose alliance of civil society groups, networks of women living with HIV and United Nations agencies, the Coalition works at global and national levels to advocate for improved AIDS programming for women and girls.


AIDS Epidemic Update 2006

UNAIDS/WHO, December 2006

The annual AIDS epidemic update reports on the latest developments in the global AIDS epidemic. With maps and regional summaries, the 2006 edition provides the most recent estimates of the epidemic’s scope and human toll, explores new trends in the epidemic’s evolution.

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Tap and Reposition Youth (TRY) - Providing Social Support, Savings, and Microcredit Opportunities for Young Women in Areas with High HIV Prevalence

Seeds No. 23, The Population Council, 2006

Tap and Reposition Youth (TRY) was a multiphase initiative undertaken by the Population Council and K-Rep Development Agency (KDA), the oldest and largest microfinance institution in Kenya. The overall aim of the project was to reduce adolescents’ vulnerabilities to adverse social and reproductive health outcomes, including HIV infection, by improving their livelihoods options. The project was launched in low-income and slum areas of Nairobi, Kenya, where rates of HIV infection are alarming and where young women are disproportionately affected.


Joining Hands – Integrating Gender and HIV/AIDS: Report of an ACORD Project using Stepping Stones in Angola, Tanzania and Uganda

ACORD, 2006

This report documents ACORD’s experience in implementing Stepping Stones – a participatory, community-centred approach to addressing gender and HIV/AIDS in 3 countries: Angola, Uganda and Tanzania. The lessons from each country are highlighted and key conclusions and implications for policy and programming are summarised.


Women Lead in the Fight against AIDS

Centre for Development and Population, UK, 2006

The stories of a dynamic group of 12 women who are on the front lines in the fight against AIDS. Each has a powerful story to tell about AIDS in her country. Their stories help us understand how the pandemic affects the lives of women and their families, and the way forward.

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