Discrimination fuels Malawi women vulnerability in HIV/AIDS – Expert

Lack of economic opportunities, low educational levels, social and political discrimination has been cited as contributing factors to the vulnerability of women to HIV.

Gender and Legal Consultant, Tinyade Kachika, made the remarks during a two day training workshop for Dowa District Aids Coordinating Committee (DACC) members on Gender transformative HIV program.

Kachika said the research has shown that women make up a majority of all adults living with HIV and among the youth the prevalence is higher among young women than young men.

Kachika: Women
Kachika: Women vulnerable

“Harmful gender norms and practices are key drivers of the epidemic besides biological and physiological factors that make women of various sub groups more susceptible to contracting HIV,” Kachika observed.

She said Gender Transformative Programming can help the Aids coordinating committee members to consider how projects, policies, programs and decisions have different impacts on women men, boys and girls.

Kachika therefore urged DACC members to recognize gender relations saying they are dynamic, changeable and vary from culture to culture, generation to generation.

She said understanding gender dimensions can help both women and men think carefully about their role in HIV and Aids transmission, prevention, care and support in order to take concrete action.

Speaking earlier during the District Aids Coordinating Committee (DACC) meeting, Dowa District Aids Coordinator (DAC), Martin Pindamkono said HIV/AIDS is a cross-cutting issue which it touches both government and private sector in the country.

Pindamkono said, if government disseminate HIV/AIDS information in their offices while delivery duties, it can change lives of people in the communities they are living.

“Life of a person if not infected but is affected, HIV/AIDS is not a one man’s show but all of us need to take a positive strategy towards addressing it,” Pindamkono said.

He called on the district’s DACC members to cooperate and work together in order to achieve the three zeros of zero new HIV infection, zero new Aids related death and zero discrimination in the district.

Pindamkono however called upon DACC members to visit remotest CBO’s in the district to see what activities they are doing and the services that the CBO’s are rendering in relation to HIV/AIDS activities.

The training workshop was organized by Malawi Global Fund country coordinating committee (MGGFCC) with support from Department for International Development (DFID).

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