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Womens's Networking Zone unveils Roadmap to Durban 2016

Released date: 22-Jul-2015

Vancouver, Canada: 21st July, 2015 – Today the Women’s Networking Zone (WNZ), coordinated by the International Community of Women living with HIV (ICW), in partnership with International Community of Women Living with HIV Southern Africa (ICWSA) and ATHENA Network, at the Gallery Gachet in Vancouver, launched the road map to a series of activities planned for the 21st International AIDS Conference (IAC) to take place in Durban from 17 to 22 July 2016.

In a ceremonious handover, the women of the Asia Pacific region handed over the torch to the women of Southern Africa region who will take the lead in organizing the AIDS 2016 WNZ in Durban.

The WNZ is a community-focused forum running parallel to the International AIDS Conference with a full program of workshops, critical dialogues, strategy sessions and performance arts.

Building on a long history beginning in Durban in 2000, the WNZ strives to continue to be the heart of women’s rights organizing and movement building leading up to 2016 and beyond.

The theme of the launch event was Building Bridges as we strive for a strong, unified feminist HIV movement for all self identifying women.

“Today, more than 30 years into the epidemic, women and girls account for over 16 million people living with HIV worldwide (over 50%). In sub-Saharan Africa, young women aged 15 to 24 are more than three times likely to be infected as young men in the same age group. As women and girls of Africa, we are more than excited and highly motivated to be in the lead and driving the agenda at the WNZ at AIDS2016, with the welcome support of our sisters and supporters all over the world. The WNZ resonates to the principle of ‘Nothing for us Without Us’. Women and girls, in all their diversities, need to be at the center of platforms shaping the agenda, policy and programming of the HIV and Reproductive Health initiatives. This opportunity gives women and girls of Africa the room to reclaim their spaces and share their experiences and expertise,” said Martha Tholanah, ICWSA Chair.

The WNZ is the heart of women’s rights organizing and movement building at AIDS 2016 and beyond. The objective is to elevate awareness at the global, regional and national levels - highlighting the disproportionate impact HIV and AIDS has on women and girls. The focus on Africa will provide advocacy skills and opportunities for women and girls, and set in motion greater engagement of those most affected. We are committed to leaving no one behind as we embark on the journey towards developing country and regional implementation plans for unfinished work for the Millennium Development Goals and set the pace for women and girls to actively engage in achievement of desires in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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