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HIV&AIDS services that are blind to human rights have increased Gender based Violence

Through the intervention on HIV/AIDS, it has been realized that, HIV and AIDS programmes that are rolled out to the communities without consulting the people they are targeting have contributed to an increase in gender based violence simply because they target the powerless who are mainly women and children. The programmes in themselves are good but the implementation strategy is what is lacking. A case in point is PMTCT which mainly target women because of their biological roles. The PMTCT mandates a woman to disclose her HIV status to her partner and request him to a have the HIV test. The dilemma is that this is not critically analyzed to understand its implication at a family level.How can you tell a goat to bring a lion?

There is a scenario of a woman from Kitgum,Northern Uganda who had gone to one of the HIV and AIDS service providers and was given a packet of condoms. She was told to keep them in a cool dry place and when she reached at home, she looked around for a cool dry place. The only cool dry place she could find was the roof top of her grass thatched hut. When the husband came back in the evening he noticed something new on the roof and wanted to find out what exactly it was.
The man reached up and found a packet of condoms. He did not give the woman a chance to explain how the condoms found their way on the roof top. She was beaten and accused of promiscuity.

At the moment women have found better ways of utilizing the condoms by using them to light fire especially the charcoal stove. So where as service providers attribute their success to the numbers of condoms distributed, the actual reality is that the intended result may not be attained
Lastly the issue of culture, the invisible power which is embedded in patriarchy and quiet often used to instill fear in women. The cultural beliefs, practices and attitudes of most of our societies perpetuate a lot of injustice to women and do not recognize the human rights of women. One of them is wife inheritance. In the two communities where the project is being implemented, when a man dies, his wife has to be inherited. If she refuses all the property is grabbed from her.
It is our responsibility to ensure that women especially those living with HIV and AIDS are protected from such injustice and take control of their lives. When women are availed the knowledge and tools they take charge of their lives and play a key role in transforming the lives of communities
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olutosin's picture


I was reeling with laughter as I read the concluding paragraph of women using condoms as fire lights....but on a second thought I cautioned myself and said it is not funny, this is exactly what I faced on Monday last week when we were discussing in a Doctor's office and some women were coming in to complain or update the doctor about their pregnancy prevention method, immediately I mentioned condom, the lady physician winked to me that I should not mention condom so as not to discourage the women because Nigerian men hate Condom, how this is the truth I cannot say and almost not even almost, all the women that came into the office were on pills or injection, one of them that I later discussed with laughed and said ha, so you do not live in Nigeria, our husbands do not accept condom, they said that it reduces the enjoyment, they feel caged or not in control.
So the usual phrase is take care of yourself, they do not know or bother to know how the women took care of themselves as long as they are free to go in and come out and some of them are so daft and cruel that even when the women make mistake to become pregnant and have the unwanted baby, they will leave the house and run from their responsibilities........

These are issues for another day

.........As we were returning from church yesterday, my 8 year old daughter asked me that "mummy, why is it that in Nigeria, poor women give birth to plenty children and rich people give birth to fewer children" Hmn, I do not know the answer was my answer.........

May God or is it "WE" help women to live fulfilling lives.

Thanks dear friend, so many stories.....

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


loyce's picture

Same Realities

This at times make me think that Africa is a homogenious block. What can be done to put sense in the minds of African Men.

Follow me on twitter:@livelyloyce

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