Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Civil society helping shape the UN's response to AIDS

1
JUL
2009

Aids Alliance

The Alliance Secretariat Policy Team took part in two recent meetings to help guide the United Nation’s response to AIDS.

On 29 May the team contributed to a global consultation on a draft action framework created to more effectively and sustainably empower women and girls and to promote gender equality in the HIV-related work of UNAIDS and UNIFEM.

Fourteen country missions, UNAIDS co-sponsors, the Global Fund and several civil society organisations attended the UNDP-convened meeting in Geneva.

The Alliance was pleased to note strong support for paying greater attention to gender norms and for addressing how these impact on women’s and men’s sexual autonomy and behaviours.

The meeting agreed that the guidance should put greater emphasis on productively engaging with men and boys in relation to norms of masculinity. Such conventions can limit women’s sexual rights and autonomy, and can also have a harmful impact on men and boys.

It was recognised that there should be clearer articulation of global/local/regional roles and relationships, and a greater focus on capacity strengthening within the UN and in countries.

In addition, the Alliance team argued for greater consideration of rights associated with sexual and reproductive health, and the need to understand sexual practices and beliefs.

The new action framework follows on from related guidance for the entire global AIDS response, which was issued last year. UNAIDS and UNIFEM also recently finalised an action framework on universal access for men who have sex with men and transgender people.

A final draft of the gender action framework will be circulated soon.

On 3-4 June the Policy Team took part in a workshop in Geneva as part of the Second Independent Evaluation of UNAIDS.

The event was a consultation on a report of preliminary findings, recently produced by the evaluation team.

As one of only seven civil society representatives, the Alliance made strong interventions in discussions on health systems strengthening and the role of civil society, a number of which were taken up in the final meeting report and outcomes.

The evaluation team has found that UNAIDS has played an important role in supporting civil society involvement in policy, programming and monitoring and evaluation.

The evaluation team will produce a draft Final Report on 7 August.