Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Report from Women Won't Wait: What's the Budget? Where'sthe Staff? (16 Days)

The Women Won't Wait campaign's new report calls for substantial,
predictable, and sustained funding and staff with the necessary gender
expertise to operationalise policies at the country level and guarantee
integrated health care to better fulfil the rights of all women and girls./

The *Women Won't Wait: End HIV and violence against women and girls. Now
Campaign* launches /What's the Budget? Where's the Staff?: Moving from
Policy to Practice, /the third in a series of reports calling for
increased recognition of the intersection between violence against women
and girls and HIV across policies, programmes and funding streams. The
three-report series, starting with /Show us the Money/ in 2007 followed
by /What Gets Measured Matters /in 2008, has monitored the work of five
major public institutions in the context of HIV:

* the two largest multilateral donors, the *Global Fund for AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria* (the *Global Fund*) and the *World Bank*;
* two of the largest bilateral donors working to combat the HIV
epidemic, the US Government's /*President's Emergency Plan for
AIDS Relief*/*/ (/*/*PEPFAR*/*/)/* and UK Government's *Department
for International Development (DFID);* and
* the UN's global agenda-setting agency on HIV&AIDS, the United
Nations Joint Programme on AIDS, *UNAIDS*.

We take note of some of the distinct progress made by several of these
institutions, particularly UNAIDS and the Global Fund and the US Office
of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC), which is responsible for managing
the implementation of PEPFAR. In /What's the budget? Where's the
staff?/, we see that these agencies are showing increased attention to
this intersection in their policies, funding priorities and guidelines.
Indeed, this renewed and more substantial attention paid to violence
against women and HIV is evidence of the success of women's movements
and women's rights advocates to date, including the Women Won't Wait
Campaign. What remains to be seen, however, is how these policies will
be transformed into practice.

We are now at a juncture where the institutions lagging behind need to
step up and devote the necessary resources (human and financial) to the
development of policies that place violence against women and gender
inequality at the centre of any HIV response. Moreover, policy-level
recognition will be meaningless if it remains only on paper and is not
transformed into concrete, measureable and resourced programming that
advances women's human rights through an integrated, multi-sector
approach to violence against women and HIV.

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Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.