The following speech was delivered by Alessandra Nilo, Coordinator at GESTOS – Brazil, at this week’s UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS.
In order to prioritize the collection of data, the first step is having governments commit to guarantee all human rights, including the sexual and the reproductive rights of women.
Unfortunately we continue to face politic will deficit– indeed the political will is still lacking from several governments attending this HLM. And, as a result, despite all efforts we were not able to see advanced and progressive language for women.
It is a shame that in the new political declaration, the only target for women, is addressing vertical transmission and as such does not speak to women across our life cycle.
It is a shame that this HLM does not include any specific or significant target for empowering women, guarantying our sexual and reproductive rights, and eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination from our lives.
So, there are two messages coming out clearly from this HLM that we strongly oppose:
1) government just want to consider women as mothers;
2) All social determinants that make women more vulnerable to HIV and AIDS, instead of being clearly addressed, have been violently opposed by the fundamentalist countries, which keep leading women to suffering and death.
So, in order to be constructive, I would like to see at all levels the political will necessary to push and create specific targets and funds to, at least, increase women’s leadership and guarantee our sexual and reproductive health and rights.
This could be the first step towards the necessary data collection and evidence-based diagnoses that we need in order to create quality policies, services and programs to address women, as women – not only as mothers, but throughout our whole life cycle and in all of our diversity.