Date: 4 June 2010
Dakar — A project on the political and economic empowerment of women living with HIV and AIDS in Senegal, supported by UNIFEM’s Fund for Gender Equality, was launched in Dakar on 4 June.
Legislation on HIV and AIDS was adopted in Senegal in February. In the view of stakeholders, the new law does not explicitly address the issue of political and economic empowerment of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, in particular women. As the implementing decree of the law has not yet been enacted, the project aims to contribute to the consideration of this aspect in the law, and any other strategic document on HIV/AIDS, through advocacy and policy dialogue with parliamentarians and the government.
The project is implemented by a consortium of organizations working on HIV and AIDS in Senegal – ANCS, SWAA/SENEGAL, ABOYA and KARLENE. At the launching ceremony, Ndeye Astou Coulibaly spoke on behalf of the consortium, and drew attention to the rampant feminization of HIV, despite significant progress made in the fight against the pandemic.
In her address, the Minister of State for Family, Food Security, Women’s Entrepreneurship, Microfinance and Children’s Affairs, Ndeye Khady Diop, thanked UNIFEM and the consortium for this initiative and reiterated her support to women living with HIV, urging them to assert leadership in decision-making bodies.
The Deputy Director of the UNIFEM Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, Maxime Houinato, welcomed the commitment of the consortium and the mobilization of civil society. He further thanked the Minister for her presence, and the Spanish Government for contributing to the Fund for Gender Equality, which has supported the consortium’s work. The Fund also receives financial contributions from the Government of Norway.
The ceremony ended with a presentation of the conclusions of two studies on the political and economic autonomy and empowerment of women living with HIV. Participants formulated a number of recommendations, including that an appropriate framework should be established for reflection and action on strengthening the participation of these women in decision-making, both at the local and national level.
For more information, please contact Mugiho Takeshita, Gender and HIV/AIDS Programme Officer, UNIFEM Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, mugiho.takeshita[at]unifem.org.