Tackling the twin pandemic of HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence
Gender based violence and HIV/AIDS are interlinked in many ways.GBV increases the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS and Vice versa thus If women are not safe from violence, they are also not safe from HIV/AIDS. Its against this premise that .sis-WICCE took the intiative of addressing the linkage between HIV/AIDS,GBV in Uganda from a human rights perspective.The project has only covered two district in Nothern and Eastern Uganda.
The project thought to empower women living with HIV with skills and knowledge on issues of human rights and women’s rights, children’s rights, marriage and succession, inheritance and property rights, gender and the law, constitution among others.
This intervention has clearly reveled that enjoyment of their basic rights is still a dream and women have little or no say in the decisions that affect their lives and their health. HIV and AIDS has doubled the dose of violations to women who are regarded as moving corpuses on top of facing others violations such as domestic violence due to disclosure to partners and family members, loss of property especially land when a spouse dies, loss of marriage rights including matrimonial home, stealing or removal of drugs (ARVs) from them, stigma and discrimination
Indeed, it was an eye opener for many women who had faced GBV and at the same time living with HIV/AIDS. I have just shared a few stories /voices of what the women are saying having been the beneficiaries of this project;
"My greatest achievement after the training is that as a widow and a woman living with HIV and AIDS I able reclaimed my land that had been grabbed by my-laws". Awoman from Bugiri District.
"The situation before the training was not easy for me because my husband was refusing me to take drugs ,he told me that if I want to the drugs I better go back home. The training empowered me as a woman who is HIV positive. After realising my rights, I told him that it is my right to take medication and I now stand and demand for my rights and for rights of other women".A woman from Bugiri District
"I was upset on how to live and take care of my self. I had not been able to take care of my family. Didn’t know something concerning human rights and I was neglected by the family members and people in my village. But now I know how to protect my rights, I have leant how to keep out of idleness and stress. HIV positive woman from Kitgum District