After two weeks of intense discussions, the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held last March, at the United Nations in New York, drew some conclusions based on a fifteen-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. The objective of the event was to share experiences and good practices, with a view to overcoming remaining obstacles and new challenges, including those related to the Millennium Development Goals.
The coordinator of Gestos, Alessandra Nilo, participated in session as a member of the Brazilian’s government delegation. The activist, among other civil society leaders, took part in a parallel session about “The Challenges of HIV/AIDS from Beijing to 2010”, and was also part of an interactive dialogue with Government representatives and gender and AIDS experts on how to dramatically improve national responses to AIDS for women and girls at national and community levels.
Among the conclusions, some are crucial when taking into consideration the UNGASS/AIDS goals on women’s sexual and reproductive rights. They are:
1. To significantly increase and coordinate political and financial commitment to address gender equality and equity in national HIV and AIDS responses, and urges Governments to effectively reflect in their national policies, strategies and budgets the gender dimension of the pandemic, in line with the time-bound goals of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, the Beijing Platform for Action and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS;
2. To strengthen policy and programme linkages and coordination between HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health, and their inclusion in national development plans, including poverty reduction strategies and sector-wide approaches, where they exist, as a necessary strategy for fighting the HIV and AIDS pandemic and mitigating its impact on the population, which could result in more relevant and cost-effective interventions with greater impact;
3. To strengthen and implement legal, policy, administrative and other measures for the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, including harmful traditional and customary practices, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, abuse, early marriage, child and forced marriage, rape, including marital rape, and other forms of sexual violence and coerced sexual activity, battering and trafficking in women and girls, and to ensure that violence against women is addressed as an integral part of the national HIV and AIDS response;
4. To call upon Member States to accelerate action on women, girls, gender equality and HIV, in accordance with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development;
5. Calls upon States to fully and effectively implement the Beijing Platform for Action, the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action and the outcomes of their review conferences, including the commitments relating to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights and the promotion and protection of all human rights in this context; and to maximize their efforts to eliminate preventable maternal mortality and morbidity by strengthening comprehensive health services to women and girls, including access to sexual and reproductive health care services and information as agreed to in the Beijing Platform for Action and Cairo Programme of Action;
6. To encourage the United Nations to continue to support national monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in the context of the “three ones” principles, to enable the production and dissemination of comprehensive and timely information on the gender dimension of the pandemic, including through the collection of data disaggregated by sex, age and marital status, and to raise awareness about the need to address the critical intersection between gender inequality and HIV and AIDS.
CSW Resolution – Maternal mortality and empowerment
CSW Resolution – Women and HIV.AIDS