ICW CYWAG International Day of Action For Women's Health StatementStatements
Released date: 27-May-2016
We, young women living with HIV in all our diversity, demand proper access to heath, including sexual and reproductive services, treatment and change in policies!
As we celebrate the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, we celebrate all the milestones we have made in ending the HIV epidemic and inclusion of young women to ensure that we have our voices heard and that no one is left behind.
Young women living with HIV all over the world have been working relentlessly to support our peers in empowerment and formation processes, including accepting our HIV status as something that only makes us stronger, and embracing our bodies as unique, beautiful and powerful no matter the shape or size. We recognize that we have autonomy over our sexuality, our femininity, our womanhood and every single matter regarding our wombs, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. We recognize and embrace our right to choose to disclose or not disclose to our partners, families and any other person, whenever and however we decide to.
The issue that remains a thorn in the flesh is the low accessibility to treatment cutting across all groups of young women living with HIV. We must have high quality health services, including for sexual and reproductive health and treatment that is available, accessible and affordable. These services must be evidence based, with a gender perspective, diversity conscious and youth friendly, so adolescents in transition don’t get lost in the system, reducing the number of deaths among adolescents.
We, young women in all our diversity, are calling on Governments and other key decision makers to:
- Eliminate adverse, discriminating and unsafe laws and policies including criminalization of HIV transmission, which continue to impede HIV prevention and treatment, and haven’t impacted positively in any effect on the incidence reduction.
- Eliminate the criminalization of key populations like young women who use drugs, young sex workers and young lesbians and men who have sex with men which put these populations in unsafe situations and endangers their lives.
- Create more mechanisms to ensure impactful engagement and rights implementation of the commitments already taken to reform punitive legal policies and frameworks aimed at young people living with HIV.
- Recognize that we have autonomy over our bodies, and that gender based discrimination and violence is a barrier to ending AIDS by 2030.
- Ensure that young women’s rights, especially of those most marginalized are upheld by reducing violence against women, especially in conflict settings.
- Recognize that sexual and reproductive health and rights encompasses abortion on demand, clear guidelines on breastfeeding for women living with HIV, freedom from forced and coerced sterilization, rights-based prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programs, as well as increased commitment and investment to ending maternal mortality.
- Recognize that women living with HIV are not only mothers, but we are also independent human beings, who are also deserving of our full human rights including sexual and reproductive health and rights and access to treatment.
ICW CYWAG International Day of Action For Women's Health Statement (1401 KB)