A Message from the Women and HIV/AIDS Initiative (WHAI) for International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day – March 8th, 2016
International Women’s Week – March 6th – March 12th, 2016
Since 1911, the global community has celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD). March 8th marks a day where we collectively commemorate the economic, political, and social achievements of women. IWD also serves as a poignant reminder of the inequities that cis and trans women continue to face. In 2016, the global theme of IWD is a Pledge for Parity which highlights the need for purposeful action that will help achieve gender parity.
This year, the Women and HIV/AIDS Initiative (WHAI) asks that we pause to acknowledge and remember the women we have lost to HIV-related causes, the approximately 8,000 women living with HIV in Ontario, the women who have fought, and continue to fight, for better care, treatment, and supports for their community, and the women living with heightened vulnerability for HIV. As a way of doing this, we ask that you have conversations and bring awareness to the many intersecting challenges that impact these women.
The lives of women living with and at heightened vulnerability for HIV are too often directly impacted by social and economic factors including poverty, violence, and immigration among others, as well as the lasting and continued impact of systemic discrimination rooted in sexism, racism, colonialism, and transphobia. By bringing awareness to these issues, we can reduce stigma, empower communities to take action, and create space for women to make their voices heard. By talking about HIV, we make it easier for others to do the same at every level.
You can participate in this call to action on social media, via blog posts, and through your personal networks. We have created some sample messages which we encourage you to use on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on any other platform that you use. These messages highlight just some of the issues facing women in the context of HIV. They are reflective of the history of a movement that is far from over. Join us – we are stronger together.
If you have any questions about the WHAI, IWD, or how to get involved, you can contact your local WHAI coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Ontario, 1 out of every 5 people diagnosed with HIV is a woman (2014) #IWD2016
HIV is not a crime. Criminalization hurts women’s health #IWD2016
We pledge to centre the voices of positive women in our work #IWD2016
Trans women in Ontario are often at heightened vulnerability to HIV. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/1p2XIAP #IWD2016
HIV service providers need to recognize and respond to the needs of survivors of domestic violence #IWD2016
Women aged 30-34 had the highest proportion of new HIV diagnoses (21%) among women in Ont. (2014) #IWD2016 #HIVCan
Women living with HIV have reported that HIV-related stigma is a barrier to accessing medical care and support services. #IWD2016
Let’s ensure continued training for service providers on sexual and reproductive health, rights & options of positive women #IWD2016 #HIVCan