The Sustainable Development Goals, the 2016 U.N. Political Declaration to end AIDS, and the UNAIDS Strategy 2016-2021, give us an unprecedented opportunity to mobilize, unite and advance gender equality and women’s empowerment as integral to global commitments to Fast Tracking the End of the AIDS Epidemic by 2030. The 2016 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS advancing gender equality and to ending the AIDS epidemic:
Eliminate gender inequalities and end all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls, people living with HIV and key populations by 2020.
Ensure that 90% of young people have the skills, knowledge and capacity to protect themselves from HIV and have access to sexual and reproductive health services by 2020, to reduce the number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women to below 100,000 per year.
Empower people living with, at risk of and affected by HIV to know their rights and to access justice and legal services to prevent and challenge violations of human rights.
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
The CSW is the principal UN intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. It does this by integrating a gender perspective in UN agendas, providing follow-up on gender equality and women’s empowerment for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda Review, and monitoring the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action during its annual session. The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action sets targets to ensure that women and girls exercise their freedom and realize their human rights, essential components of an effective HIV response. During its annual session, the Commission along with representatives of civil society, UN Member States and UN entities review progress and challenges to gender equality, adopt resolutions, and draft reports to the Council on further actions to advance women’s political, economic and social rights under the priority themes set each year. Every two years a Resolution on “Women, the girl child and HIV and AIDS” is tabled at the CSW. In 2018 the resolution was reaffirmed by member states, through their Ministries of Gender. UN Agencies are requested to report to the Secretary General on its implementation in 2020 at the CSW64. The last report of the Secretary General on Women, the girl child and HIV and AIDS was in 2018.
Please click here for further resources on civil society’s engagement in the CSW process.
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is a committee of 23 independent experts on women’s rights that monitor the implementation of the UN treaty called the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The Committee considers several types of matters: reports of state parties (states that have ratified the Convention – almost all countries have ratified the treaty), individual complaints, and inquiries into women’s rights violations. The CEDAW aims to ensure that states overcome discriminatory barriers against women. Due to women’s and girls’ increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in large part because of pervasive gender-based discrimination, CEDAW issued the General Recommendations and Concluding Observations on HIV and AIDS in 1990. As a result, state party reports and concluding observations address progress and challenges on the situation and status of women and girls living with HIV.
Please click here for further resources on civil society’s engagement in the CEDAW process.
Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a mechanism of the Human Rights Council (HRC), is a state-driven process in which the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States are reviewed every four to five years. This mechanism provides an opportunity to examine how each state has fulfilled its international obligations to protect women’s human rights, an essential element to fast-tracking the HIV response. The UPR also provides a platform for the discussion of best human rights practices around the world.
Please click here for further resources on civil society’s engagement in the UPR process.
UNAIDS works with 193 countries to collect and analyse data on their HIV epidemics and responses, and to help build the capacity to generate and use strategic information. Countries are strongly encouraged to collect disaggregated data, including by sex and age, and for specific key populations. Data collection is a cornerstone of countries’ monitoring and evaluation efforts.
Building on this, #BeTeamWomen has extracted specific sex disaggregated and gender-sensitive HIV-related indicators to measure country progress towards achieving a gender-responsive approach to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The data in this website are sourced from UNAIDS modelled HIV estimates, as well as country reports submitted through the Global AIDS Monitoring (GAM) process. The full datasets are compiled in AIDSinfo, the primary data visualization platform of UNAIDS.
With this data, #BeTeamWomen aims to equip civil society with the tools needed to track progress for women and girls and hold governments accountable to their commitments as outlined in the 2030 Agenda.