Human Rights-Based Approaches to Systems Strengthening for HIV+ Women

March 6th, 2018    News

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62)

Rural women and girls living with HIV often face stigma and discrimination. With limited access to healthcare, they are often left rendered unable to exercise their right to health. By integrating human rights based approaches into HIV programming, rural women and girls will be better able to claim their right to health. Increased knowledge of rights empowers women to advocate for better healthcare and gender equity.Globally, rural women and girls living with HIV are unable to consistently access quality healthcare. In particular, the availability of HIV prevention, treatment and care remains inconsistent with little resources and high staff attrition. States struggle with ensuring the right to health for rural communities, especially for HIV affected individuals.

From left: Shyronn Jones (panel speaker), Theresa Castillo (moderator), Emilie Filner-Wilson (panel speaker), Jennifer Carpenter (panel speaker), Peter Navario (HealthRight Executive Director), and Halyna Skipalska (panel speaker)


Our parallel event for the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), “Humans Rights-Based Approaches to Systems Strengthening for HIV+ Rural Women” was successfully held on March 22, 2018 at the Church Center for the UN. The event began with welcoming remarks from HealthRight International’s Executive Director Peter Navario, followed by an overview of the health and human rights framework presented by UNFPA’s Emilie Filmer-Wilson.

Country case examples were shared by our speakers from USA, Ukraine and Tanzania, respectively: Shyronn Jones from the Positive Women’s Network – USA, Halyna Skipalska from the Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health/HealthRight Ukraine, and Jennifer Carpenter from Pamoja Tunaweza. Each speaker provided insight into rights-based program design, using the right to health AAAQ model. The panel explored the critical partnerships necessary to address the multi-dimensional issues that rural HIV+ women face, including HIV+ women, government and public-private partnerships. Further, the speakers emphasized the need to strengthen data collection and empower HIV+ women in decision-making and advocacy. For more information on each speaker’s contributions to the event, please view their presentation below.

Halyna Skipalska – HIV+ and rural women who survived violence: what works in Ukrainian communities?

Emilie Filner-Wilson – A human rights-based approach to systems strengthening for HIV+ rural women

Shyronn Jones – Case Study: Rural Women in the U.S. South


PWN’s Policy Fellow, Shyronn Jones,
discusses HIV decriminalization in USA
UNFPA’s Emilie Filner-Wilson
answers a question from the audience
HealthRight Ukraine Country Director, Halyna Skipalska, talks about why rural women
are at a higher risk for experiencing violence and becoming infected with HIV in Ukraine