Kenya to hold III UNGASS-AIDS Forum

July 3, 2009

The UNGASS-AIDS Forum Kenya will happen on 7–8 July, in Nairobi. Around forty organizations have been invited to participate on strengthening the monitoring drive on women’s sexual and reproductive health in the country.

The new UNGASS-AIDS Forum leadership has taken the project to new communication heights. The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation – KBC – will broadcast a program about the preparation for next week’s Forum. It also has participation in a weekly one hour show on Reproductive Health Programme named “Afya ya Usazi,” on KBC National Radio.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights awareness is growing in Kenya, it might just create opportunity for important and positive changes for the women there, that needs to overcome many traditional barriers to be able to have their rights met.


Strengthening sexual and reproductive health actions in AIDS policies

May 11, 2009

Between February 2007 and June 2008, Gestos, with support from the Ford Foundation, among other partners, acted upon to consolidate the formation of a network of sixteen countries, from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe, with the objective of monitoring and evaluating public policies of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women with HIV/AIDS.

There was a total of 433 groups and national advocacy networks of the Women’s, AIDS’ and Human Rights’ movements that acted politically on the issue, having as reference the monitoring of the Declaration of Commitment signed at UNGASS-AIDS 2001.

The results of the experience were systematized at Monitoring the UNGASS-AIDS Goals on Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health comparative report, launched at the UNGASS-AIDS review meeting, June 2008, New York. The Comparative Report was sent officially to UNAIDS as a civil society shadow report. According to the then UNAIDS Executive Director, Dr Peter Piot, “this was the only document produced for UNGASS-AIDS that deals with critical questions to sexual and reproductive health of women living with HIV/AIDS or in a vulnerable situation.”

Ms Alessandra Nilo, Coordinator of the Political Pedagogical Program of Gestos, announced that, in the period of 2009–2011, besides articulating with the partners network to participate in the national processes of monitoring UNGASS-AIDS, the main strategy will be to design advocacy plans in each one of the countries aiming at including sexual and reproductive health as a priority axis in the National AIDS Plans. “The objective is to include the issue of the interface of sexual and reproductive health and AIDS in the political agendas in the countries participating in the project; in the moments of UN reviewing Universal Access, in the strategies of monitoring International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+15) and the IV Women Conference (Beijing+15), as well as the next International AIDS Conference, to be held in Vienna in 2010.” Concludes her with what it seems her monitoring advocacy mantra.

Because of budget constraint, not all countries that participated in the first phase of the project will participate in the second phase. Raising funds in a time of economic crisis has become ever more difficult. In the new phases the countries where there will be UNGASS-AIDS Forum: Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health are: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguai, Peru, Nicaragua, Belize, Indonesia, Ukraine, Thailand,  South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.