For over 25 years, IWHC has mobilized hundreds of women and young people to advocate for their human rights in their communities, with their governments, and at the UN. Together, we have achieved great gains: we’ve transformed policies, forged global agreements, and influenced global HIV/AIDS funding.
At the same time, we recognize that there is still much to be done to put the power of prevention in women’s hands. That’s why we continue to support grassroots organizations that understand that women’s sexual and reproductive rights are a pivotal neglected priority in HIV/AIDS policy, programming, and resource allocation.
Today, on World AIDS Day, we would like to recognize the extraordinary work of our partners, whose tireless efforts continue to ensure the health and rights of women and girls around the world:
• In the rural southern Indian district of Sangli, local primary health centers are often closed because the doctor doesn’t show up, or there are no medicines to dispense. Sangram, our partner organization, helps the most disadvantaged women in these communities—widows, low-caste women, sex workers—mobilize to demand the services to which they are entitled. As a result, in six local health centers, they now have contraceptives; a nurse midwife on duty 24 hours; a transport system to take women to the district hospital if there are complications during labor and childbirth; HIV counseling and effective referral for treatment—none of which were previously available.
• In Brazil, where young people bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic, our partner Grupo Curumim is taking proactive measures to arm a new generation with the tools they need to fight HIV/AIDs in their own community. Curumim’s youth program, Cunhatã, organizes workshops that provide youth with comprehensive and accurate information about their health and rights to empower young people to reach adulthood in good health.
These are just two examples of the incredible work of our colleagues. In ten different countries on three continents, our partners are providing young people with comprehensive sexuality education, distributing female condoms and advocating for policies and programs that uphold the rights of women and girls.
Join us this World AIDS day in thanking our partners for difference they make in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Email your thanks to communications [at] iwhc.org and we will send a package of thank you notes to our partners.
Feel free to use the following text or write your own:
On this World AIDS day and on behalf of women and girls around the world, thank you for your leadership in the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS.
Empowering women and girls to stand up for themselves and make healthy choices about their lives and those of their families is important to me because _________________________.
I stand with you in solidarity as you work to ensure every woman’s and girls’ right to a just and healthy life.
Image courtesy of the World AIDS Campaign postcard kit.