Civil Society Organisations (CSO) yesterday called for mainstreaming of gender and human rights into the design, planning, implementation and monitoring of HIV programmes.
This, they argue, will ensure an integrated, long-term and multisectoral approach to the HIV epidemic that addresses the needs and rights of women and girls.
The call was made by the Executive Secretary of Rwanda NGO Forum on AIDS and Health Promotion, Canut Dufitumukiza, who also told members of the civil society to be agents of change at their respective places of work.
“CSOs should help change the mindsets and develop their plans for promoting gender and human rights mainstreaming at organisational and programming levels,” Dufitimukiza said.
The call was made during a four-day workshop on mainstreaming gender and human rights, and addressing GBV in the HIV response.
Dufitimukiza added that at the end of the workshop, participants from the civil society bodies would be able to develop roadmaps on concrete steps to mainstream gender and human rights dimensions in HIV programmes.
The Gender and HIV consultant at UNAIDS, Kate Doyle, stated that 60 percent of people living with HIV in the county are women, hence calling for an understanding of the various gender aspects and their culpability for HIV.
Doyle urged CSOs, government and assorted stakeholders to scale-up policies and incorporate concepts for women and gender equality in their programmes.
According to a UNAIDS document, HIV prevalence in Rwanda is at three percent among the population but higher among women at 3.6 percent and 2.3 percent among men.
The document further states that persistent gender inequality and human rights violation puts women and girls at greater risk and vulnerability to infection.