International Women’s Day: Tell Obama to Help Women with HIV/AIDS

Did you know it’s International Women’s Day? New York City Democratic Socialists of America is marking the holiday—which was started by American democratic socialists in 1909 — by joining our comrades in Socialist International Women in demanding justice for women with HIV/AIDS. From Socialist International Women:

According to statistics from UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS) some 33.4 million people worldwide live with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and nearly half of them are women. New HIV infections are estimated at around 3 million per year and nearly as many people die of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) each year. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to HIV infections—for social, economic and biological reasons. Women aged 15-24 are three to four times more likely to become infected than young men and rates of infection in women are rising in every region and in most countries. Child marriage, sexual coercion and violence, women’s lack of power to negotiate safe sex, other power imbalances and inequalities as well as poverty, mean that women and girls have no control over their sexual life. Very few girls and women in Africa, Asia and Latin America have access to information, sex education and reproductive health services that would empower them against AIDS.

Therefore on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Socialist International Women together with other women’s organizations worldwide call on governments, health services and NGOs to give high priority at the XVII International AIDS Conference (Vienna, Austria, from July 18-23 2010) to the following demands concerning women and HIV/AIDS:
• Gender equality in education, employment, financial and legal matters (including property and inheritance rights);
• Accessible reproductive health services for women and girls, as well as access to testing, treatment, counseling, care and support;
• Access to methods of prevention such as male and female condoms;
• Legal action on violence against women, including sexual coercion and rape;
• Involvement of boys and men in HIV prevention measures;
• Respect and enforcement of women’s human rights.

NYC DSA has sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to only send representatives to the International AIDS Conference who agree with Socialist International Women’s positions. Why don’t you do so, too? Click here to email the president. Cross-posted at the New York City Democratic Socialists of America blog.

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