Africa Action today marked World AIDS Day by co-sponsoring a major rally & die-in outside the World Bank and IMF to condemn policies that undermine the fight against HIV/AIDS for women and girls in Africa and throughout the global
South. This year's World AIDS Day theme focuses on the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls around the world.
At this morning's rally, Marie Clarke Brill of Africa Action said, "In Africa and increasingly around the world, AIDS has a woman's face. If we
are to turn the tide of this pandemic, we need to promote strategies that will address the gender inequalities that leave women and girls
most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Instead, the policies of the World Bank and IMF continue to undermine women's health in Africa and around the world."
Africa Action's Executive Director Salih Booker said this morning,
"Women in Africa are fighting not only a virus and systemic discrimination, but these powerful international financial institutions that define their economic realities. While Africa faces the worst health crisis in human history, the World Bank and IMF continue to insist that African countries prioritize repayments of illegitimate
debts over spending on HIV/AIDS programs."
At the rally, dozens of women and girls dressed in red formed a human chain in the shape of a women's symbol to dramatize the disproportionate
impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls globally. Latest UN figures reveal that the number of women living with HIV/AIDS continues to increase in every region of the world. In Africa, almost 60% of those living with HIV/AIDS are women.
This evening, Africa Action will co-host a screening of "In Women's Hands", a documentary film that explores the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and talks about the pursuit of icrobicides to help women protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Africa
Action notes that continued research into female-controlled HIV/AIDS prevention methods such as microbicides is crucial to giving women control over their sexual health and to fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic globally.
This morning's rally and die-in was co-sponsored by ActionAid International USA, 50 Years is Enough Network, Global AIDS Alliance, Global Justice, Jubilee USA Network, Nicaragua Network, Religious Working Group on the IMF/World Bank, Student Global AIDS Campaign and United ethodist General Board of Church and Society.
For more resources on the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa and the structural obstacles that undermine African efforts to respond to this
pandemic, see http://www.africaaction.org