Addressing Violence Against Women and Children Is Critical to Achieving an AIDS-Free Generation

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Blog on the Huffington Post titled, "Addressing Violence Against Women and Children Is Critical to Achieving an AIDS-Free Generation and the Millennium Development Goals," aptly outlines why violence needs to be part of the solution to defeating HIV for women and girls.

Authors Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and Deborah von Zinkernagel, Acting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator state that, "During this week’s 58th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Exit Disclaimer, the global community will come together to reflect on key achievements and challenges in advancing progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls. This provides an opportune moment to examine the impact of one such challenge: violence against women and girls."

Further they state that, "Violence against women and girls has impeded progress on nearly every MDG. This includes efforts to reach the MDG 6 target of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS–an epidemic that still disproportionally affects women and girls in many countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in three women worldwide has experienced physical and/or sexual violence in her lifetime. Women who experience violence also often face serious health consequences, including higher rates of unintended pregnancies, mental health problems, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV."

We agree. In the Fall of 2013 we attended a Congressional hearing on global gender-based violence (GBV). We know that women in the U.S. are experiencing similar violence as those in developing countries, often fueled by many of the same social drivers - from poverty to homelessness. At the hearing Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) pointed out that,“When women succeed, the world succeeds.” She is absolutely right, and that sentiment needs to drive policy in the U.S. as well as abroad.

Please take a moment to read the blog post and to read our statement on the hearing and the needs of women in the U.S.

During this week’s 58th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Exit Disclaimer, the global community will come together to reflect on key achievements and challenges in advancing progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls. This provides an opportune moment to examine the impact of one such challenge: violence against women and girls.

Violence against women and girls has impeded progress on nearly every MDG. This includes efforts to reach the MDG 6 target of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS–an epidemic that still disproportionally affects women and girls in many countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in three women worldwide has experienced physical and/or sexual violence in her lifetime. Women who experience violence also often face serious health consequences, including higher rates of unintended pregnancies, mental health problems, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

- See more at: http://blog.aids.gov/2014/03/addressing-violence-against-women-and-child...

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